Monday, 30 November 2015

Daemoncall Enters the Living Museum

“Here. It is here.”

Thaddeus Daemoncall knew the signs that heralded another concentration of magical artefacts – feelings and impressions only open to those with extensive experience of sorcery. They stopped, just before the narrow passageway opened up into a snow-dusted square.

The Summoner nodded towards the rows of shattered statues – once proud bearers of exotic treasure in a proud wizard’s private museum, but now just broken lumps of man-sized stone under a wintry sky.

He turned to his warband – the four thuggish tribesmen and their two bowmen cousins, the Hobbit thief and Southlander ranger, the newly-hired knight, loyal warhound and lastly his apprentice, Johannes Oddleigh.

“It was once the custom to keep one’s treasures at the feet of such statues – you can be sure they will not let go of their charges readily. Come, let us advance!”

“Begone! I was here first!”

The challenge echoed across the square as Holbon Toddlebrew and his apprentice Ged Scrollmaster appeared at the opposite side with their band, augmented by a haughty treasure hunter.

“You again Sigilist?” sneered Thaddeus. “Very well, let us begin the d-“

Suddenly an arrow thudded into the chest of the archer standing next to the Summoner. He staggered, clutching his wound. Thaddeus stepped back as his men advanced. Laying his hands on the stricken bowman he muttered a spell, beads of sweat dripping from his forehead and his eyes growing bloodshot.

The archer stood up, but before he could stutter his thanks the wizard weakly waved him on forward before leaning heavily on a ruined wall. Reaching into his robes, he pulled out the healing potion he had found in the previous battle and drank deeply.

“It’s like that is it?” he muttered darkly.

The warband closed in on the statues, spreading out as they moved forward. In the vanguard a small imp appeared, close enough to worry the Sigilist’s men, but not their own party. There was a stronger smell of brimstone to their left, where Halfinch the thief had smashed a potion bottle, releasing the demon from within.

To the right, the healed archer made his way around the edge of the square, keeping a ruined building between him and the archer that had nearly finished him. Climbing up onto the top storey, he would ineffectively cover the square for the rest of the game. Ahead of him trotted Fluffy the warhound, working her way around the flank of her prey.

In support, the other archer had set himself up in an upper level and, perched in his eyrie, exchanged bow shots with his opposite number, who was crouched behind a ruin. He guarded the Sigilist apprentice who, like his master, was busying himself by attempting to cast magical shields over his men.

The released demon screamed in fury, forced to do her master’s bidding, and moved on the treasure. However it was the Sigilist’s men who got there first, pulling out a golden chest from under the rubble. Suddenly one of their number, a bald thug, yelled a warning, as a statue came jerkily to life, looming above him.

As he frantically battled this living statue, the summoned imp was quickly finished off by the Sigilist warhound. Meanwhile the other thug was hauling the treasure chest away, covered by the treasure hunter.

But these small victories were short-lived, for the knight had leaped forward thanks to Thaddeus’ magic, and, ignoring the bald thug’s plight, quickly slew the warhound and clanked straight towards Holbon Toddlebrew and his archer bodyguard.

Thaddeus’ thugs had by now reached the statues, which were coming to life at a steady rate as the treasure chests were touched. However these steely tribesmen were able to attack mob-handed, and with a yell of triumph, soon polished off an outnumbered construct - swiftly followed by it’s neighbour.

The enemy treasure hunter and thug pairing also managed to dispatch a living statue, while their bald compatriot was still locked in an epic struggle with another animated effigy.

The treasure hunter and his friend made a break for it, as did Holbon Toddlebrew, leaving his archer to face the mighty blade of Sir Pierre de Bleu. He did not last long, and neither did the Sigilist apothecary, who had run face-to-face with Fluffy as she appeared on his flank.

A scream rent the frozen air, as the demon, having moved around the opposite flank, fell to the blade of a troublesome archer. Another imp popped into existence, and lolloped towards the bald thug, who was still battling a statue.

Two of the tribal thugs had by now destroyed yet another statue, although one had been wounded in the process, and were now extracting yet another treasure chest from under the snow. A timely leap spell from Oddleigh moved the wounded thug, and the treasure, out of harm’s way, although the miscast had to be boosted, nearly costing the unfortunate apprentice his life.

With a shout, more of relief than triumph perhaps, the bald thug finally dispatched the statue, only to turn and find the imp heading towards him. Groaning, he once again hefted his club, sending the creature back to whatever dimension had spawned it. His enemies overcome, he could finally get at a treasure chest!

But it was not to be. He fell, a look of surprise on his face and a sliver of bone protruding from his back. Thaddeus smiled, flexing his fingers as one of his men raced forward to claim the chest.

By now the Sigilists were in full flight, pursued by a baying Fluffy, with Sir Pierre not far behind. Buying them just enough time to escape, the Sigilist treasure hunter turned and hacked down the demonic hound.

Her howls mixed with a squeal of terror as Nifty Halfinch, Halfling thief, went down under a mighty blow from the remaining statue. However this creature was soon taken care of by Hakim the ranger, leaving the field, and five of it’s six treasures, to Thaddeus Daemoncall. He and his band headed back to the Cloven Hoof, carrying Fluffy and Halfinch’s prone forms. Luckily they were both to make a full recovery.

The Summoners had not only cast half a dozen spells between them, but Thaddeus had also dispatched an enemy thug and had five treasures to his name. In one fell swoop he had risen to a level five wizard. (Edit: After re-reading the scenario, I noticed we also get 25 exp per statue killed, so an extra 100 exp for me, bringing me up to level 6.)

The treasure haul was rather pleasing too, with gold-a-plenty, scrolls, magical weapons and a new elemental ball spell to be learned. Thaddeus’ sojourn into the living museum had proved to be very profitable indeed…

Thaddeus’ First Foray into Frostgrave

“Well then, gentlemen, here we are…”

My warband: wizard, apprentice, thief, ranger, two archers and four thugs. I had also managed to brew up a demon in a bottle during the out-of-game spell phase.

Thaddeus surveyed the ruins of the frozen city, his experienced eye picking out the tell-tail aura wherever there lay an item of magical treasure – left abandoned for centuries and now ripe for the taking.

Except… Movement!

Down a narrow alleyway he saw others moving. A glint of s sword, a swish of scarlet robes.

“Another wizard…” He squinted, before sucking the cold air through his teeth. “A damned Sigilist! Men- forward!”

My gaming buddy Giles very kindly agreed to try his hand at Frostgrave with me, digging out some of his extensive fantasy collection and gamely creating a warband around them, despite not seeing the rules beforehand! We started off with a standard game – six treasure tokens scattered across the board.

My warband split up into two, headed by wizard and apprentice. They advanced, taking cover in the ruined houses. Giles’ Sigilist did likewise.

Oddleigh, half-tripping over the broken flagstones, froze as down the street a thug crept into view. They stared at each other for what seemed like an age, before the apprentice lifted his arm and pointed a trembling finger.

He couldn’t remember what happened next, but the thug lay dead, a sliver of bone protruding from his body. Oddleigh stared at his hands in horror.
“Hah!” The curt laugh of the archer, who was clambering up a pitted wall to get a better vantage point, was enough to snap him out of it. “Good shooting my lord!”

"There!” Thaddeus pointed at the chest, half-hidden in a dark corner of a ruined building. A thug immediately sprang forward and began dragging the booty out. His fellow tribesman, a swarthy archer, brushed past, looking for a way up onto the next storey, while Halfinch, skipping effortlessly over the rubble, ran ahead in search of more loot.

Oddleigh peered at where the prone thug still lay. To his right, the archer had scrambled up a ladder and was preparing to take pot shots at whatever target presented itself, while below him, three of the tribal thugs advanced, years of field craft learnt on the steppes being put to good use.

To Oddleigh’s left, a shower of loose bricks heralded Hakim the Ranger, climbing effortlessly up another ruin, towards the treasure chest secreted there.

“Faster – I want it all!” Thaddeus raged as his warband crept forward, archers exchanging shots with their adversaries. Skulking in a shadowy doorway he could make out the Sigilist’s men, dragging chests of treasure away from his grasp. Suddenly, he grinned. “This will slow you down…”

A few muttered words and a well-practised wave of the hand and ‘poof!’ a small red creature appeared in the midst of the enemy.

In advance of the apprentice, the thugs continued forward, until one of them suddenly flew backwards, as if pushed by a mighty invisible palm. A figure in red robes strode from behind a corner. “Halt knaves! I am Holbon Toddlebrew, wizard, and I claim this place and it’s treasures!”

“Oh aye?” drawled one of the thugs. “Well I’m Greybeard of the Black Hill tribe, and I claim your head!” As their winded comrade picked himself up, the thugs leapt forward, quickly striking down the Sigilist.

Thaddeus sensed the demise of his fellow wizard and grimaced, despite his hatred of such runesmiths. He ducked from out of the doorway, bone dart ready to cast at his rivals, but no target presented itself. The imp he had conjured was meanwhile in combat with a fierce war hound, but by the sound of it's squeals, was not to last for long. One of his thugs was surging forward; hoping to catch the Sigilist apprentice and his entourage as they frantically dragged away their share of the treasure.

By now Halfinch the Halfling thief, Hakim the ranger and one of the thugs were similarly dragging away treasure chests. Could Thaddeus snatch one more? He concentrated on the thug in front of him, who suddenly he leapt into the air, landing neatly a short distance from the retreating Sigilist warband. However it was too late – they were gone before the started tribesman could recover his wits.

Thaddeus grunted in disappointment. “Come, we are done here!”

A little while later and the band were nursing their aches in front of a roaring fire – with even the taciturn ranger Hakim swapping stories of what had occurred that day. The inn that they had discovered, and subsequently dubbed the Cloven Hoof, was comfortable enough, even if in dire need of restoration.

At the very least it suited Thaddeus. “Enough room for another warrior,” he mused, “and we will need a kennel for Fluffy."

Oddleigh shuddered at the thought of this half-demonic warhound. “It’s going to cost a lot to build a kennel strong enough to hold her!”

Thaddeus nodded, looking glumly at the meagre contents of the three treasure chests they had snagged. “Well we have some gold… and if we sell these magical weapons we will have enough for a kennel and another man – that knight, Sir Pierre de Bleu, see if he’s available.”

Oddleigh nodded, and left for The Market, while Thaddeus totted up the rest of the finds. “A potion of healing – add that to the demon potion we didn’t use today… scrolls… oh and a grimoire! Animate construct eh? Could be useful…”

Thus ends our first game of Frostgrave! Both spellcasters managed to get of a grand total of four spells each, and it was honours even with the treasure at three apiece. This gave us both enough experience to advance to level 1.

Giles did however do a lot better with his treasure rolls, and his wizard recovered fully from his battering at the hands of my thugs. His account of events can be found here.

Time then, for the second game, in which our wizards hear tell of a ruined museum, brimming with treasure… and strange statues…

Sunday, 29 November 2015


What was once an opulent hall, brimming with treasures and wonders, now lay ruined - a rubble-strewn plaza exposed to the unforgiving elements.

Broken statues loomed over great chests - half crushed under fallen roof beams. A spider, no bigger than a human hand, scuttled over a chest in hunt of prey. It stopped, detecting a slight vibration.

Shards of stone were sloughing off the statue that stood in silent vigil over it's charge. It's remaining arm grated in it's stone socket as it raised it's broken sword. Head tottering on what remained of it's shoulders, in staggered off it's pedestal.

Sensing danger, the spider scrambled off the chest and crawled under a raised flagstone. The statue stopped, before jerkily stepping back into it's original position. The frozen air swirled and it was still.

Tuesday, 24 November 2015


With my first game of Frostgrave coming up this week (all being well – anyone with young kids will know how swiftly the lurgy strikes at this time of year), I needed to get some treasure tokens sorted.

Now, bits of paper, beads, coins (I use old interwar coins in my VBCW Brink of Battle skirmishes) will do the trick, but I wanted something that looked good.

Step forward the Dice Bag Lady
I’ve wanted to send a few bob Annie’s way ever since I heard about her webstore. Her business seems to be really taking off, and I admire the way she’s started selling and producing believable female miniatures (as opposed to the buxom chainmail bikini type) – which will be useful if my plan to get my daughters into wargaming succeeds...

When I saw that she’d made available in the UK some great treasure token’s from Ristul’s Extraordinary Market, this provided me with the excuse I needed to put my hand in my pocket (just a modest order sadly – this is also the time of year for empty pockets!)

Within days of placing the order they arrived, and have finally taken their place at the head of the painting queue.

Monday, 23 November 2015

Adventurers: Part the Third

“This? This is your master?”

The thugs chuckled as the marksman sneered derisively at Oddleigh from across the half-eaten food and empty beakers on the table, his sharp and piercing eyes seemingly whittling the apprentice down to his constituent parts: cowardice, incompetence and failure.

And a small spark of bravery (or at least indignation).

“Wha? Er, I mean - I am no ‘this’ you cur!” he blustered. “I am apprenticed to the noble Thaddeus Daemoncall!”

The marksman glared for a second, before barking out a laugh.

“Hah! At least my kinsfolk will be led into battle by someone with a little spirit!”

The marksman – Uluk whateverhisnamewas – came from the same tribe as some of the warriors that had accompanied Thaddeus and Oddleigh from their exile on the Steppes. While they were newcomers, he and his band had been hiring themselves out for many months. Consequently they were better armed and armoured than their cousins – and more expensive to retain.

“Moghai tells me this is will be your first expedition to Frostgrave. Well I want my kin to survive, so take heed… There is something stirring… I know not what, but I have heard tales of something at the heart of the city. Something worse than the ice toads, ghouls, werewolves and the like. So you be careful, and, if you make it out alive with enough gold, seek me out, for it has been many a winter since my cousins and I fought side-by-side.”

“Er, perhaps you could fight for us now?” smiled Oddleigh weakly. “We’ve spent most of our gold but, y’know, maybe you could give us friends and family rates?”

The marksman glared, his face turning purple. He leant forward, his hand resting on his crossbow.

“HAH! A sense of humour as well as spirit!”

He doubled over, wheezing with laughter.

“You sir, will go far…"

“Oh, thanks!” Oddleigh grinned.

“Or die…” shrugged Uluk. “The ones with a sense of humour always either do very well, or die…”

Oddleigh could only gape as the kinsmen clunked beakers, and shook the tavern with a tribal shriek. One last night of merriment before they set off on their first expedition...

Some more potential recruits for my warband – a marksman, two crossbowmen and a pair of infantrymen, all knocked together from my Fireforge plastic kits.

Adventurers: Part the Second

“Blimey, look at him! I know necromancers are supposed to be pale, but he’s practically see-through!”

After several hours of haggling for lodgings, bartering for supplies and general running of errands, Oddleigh had slumped onto a log next to Halfinch, the Hobbit thief that his master had secured the services of.

Halfinch had taken a shine to the apprentice, much to his annoyance, for the Hobbit talked incessantly. And now, having finally exhausted his large repertoire of stories, personal anecdotes and general wittering, he contented himself with providing a running, and rather uncomplimentary, commentary about the throng as they passed by.

“Hah! Look at that old hag, giving him what-for! They’ve been scrapping over the same treasure, you mark my words.”

Oddleigh sighed, but did not reply – something that Halfinch either failed to notice, or simply didn’t care about.

“Oh, and who’s this? Ugh, an Elf! I hate Elves – poncy, pointy eared pansies!”

Oddleigh observed the Elf striding past. He had seen many Eleves before – the College of Magicke at Ulfenhalle was prestigious enough to attract some students from among their ranks, but this one was different. No fey and aloof magic user here, but a sinuous and feral creature from deep within the forested heart of the Faewold.

“…ooh, look at me, I’m a poncy Elf with long poncy hair!”

“Er, perhaps you’d better keep your voice down – Elves have extremely good hearing…”

“Huh, I’m surprised the big Jessie can hear anything with that women’s hairst-“

The Hobbit stopped, red faced, as the Elf froze in his tracks and with a snarl, dropped his staff and notched an arrow in his bow in one fluid movement.

Oddleigh scrambled behind the log, desperately trying to remember the elemental shield spell he’d half-learned back in some stuffy classroom.

“Greysleaves – come! Our employer awaits us!”

A heavily armoured warrior – a templar by the look of his enormous battle-hammer, called the angry Elf, who bared his teeth before reluctantly lowering his bow and joining his companion.

Oddleigh climbed back onto the log, breathing a sigh of relief.

“Shame,” muttered the Hobbit after a few seconds of silence, “I could’ve taken him you know...”

Two more hirelings at the higher end of the price list - an Elf Tracker (Reaper Bones Elf ranger with replacement hands to give him the requisite weapons) and a Templar (Reaper Bones once again).

Thursday, 19 November 2015

Adventurers: Part the First

‘The Market’ sprawled along the swift and narrow river that marked, in this particular area at least, the unofficial border between ruined Frostgrave and the outside world.

The noise was incredible – stallholders hawking their wares from beneath tattered canopies, warriors sprawling drunkenly from tumbledown drinking dens, spellcasters haggling loudly over the price of some magical item, the baying of warhounds and the crackle of wizardry.

What struck Oddeigh most was the sheer numbers and variation of people heading to and from the eerie ruins. Common thugs rubbed shoulders with proud knights, wily thieves bantered with watchful rangers, and sturdy archers tested their bowstrings while callow apprentices practised their art in secluded corners.

“This is where everyone comes to before they launch their expeditions, and then buy and sell stuff afterwards.”

The Hobbit Halfinch had been mercifully quiet during the last leg of their journey, cowed perhaps by the stillness and quiet of those last few miles through the wilderness, but now, as if animated by the sudden cacophony, he was in full flow once again.

Oddleigh grunted, still stunned by the spectacle. He turned to look for his master, but found his way blocked by two huge shapes.

“You want fighters?”

A mound of muscle, in amongst which must have been some kind of man, thumped his chest, and then that of his equally large companion.

“We Gog and Magog – we fight for you – hundred gold each!”

“Oh, er..” stammered the apprentice.

“We consider offer!” grunted the Hobbit, which seemed to placate the pair, who nodded solemnly before wandering off. He grinned and turned to Oddleigh.
“You have to speak the language see? Barbarians – not the sharpest swords on the rack, but bloody good fighters.”

“Er, they’re practically naked…”

“Huh, the cold doesn’t bother them. Born of the Great Wilds see? Everything there wants to kill you – hell, even their gods hate their guts! Gotta be tough to surv- by the Lords, I don’t believe it!”

He was staring at yet another large, armour-clad figure, who clanked along with an expression of open disdain against everyone else in sight.

“Don’t believe what?”

“That’s Sir Pierre de Bleu – haven’t you heard of him?”

Oddleigh squinted at the knight. His armour, once obviously painted a startling blue, was chipped, faded and dusted with rust, although, he noticed, his sword was sharp and well honed.

“He’s famous,” Halfinch continued, “there’s not a princeling in the land that hasn’t heard the cautionary tale of Sir Pierre de Bleu. Scion of the noblest family of the Old Empire, rich beyond comparison and just as spoilt. A talented fighter yes, but one who much preferred a life of wine and wenches to the noble arts of war.”

“Oh.” Oddleigh groaned inwardly as the Hobbit settled into his story.

“He and his mates would ruin half the countryside on one of their jaunts – hunting peasants and outraging their daughters – but each time his dad, the Grand Poobah of wherever, would pay off whoever and let him carry on. However one day him and his mates went too far and raised an entire town. Even daddy couldn’t spring him this time, and so he was banished. Last I heard he was cracking heads in the Southlands, but I guess wizards pay better than pirates…”

Oddleigh watched as the warrior shouldered his way through the throng.

“Takes all sorts I suppose…”

A few more figures to spend gold crowns on. The barbarians are from my good mate Doug of EM-4 miniatures, whilst the knight is a Reaper Bones figure, kindly donated by gaming buddy Rich.

Thursday, 12 November 2015


“Alright, that’s enough,” chuckled his master, “off him now – c’mon.”

As Oddleigh felt the enormous weight lift itself off his prone body, he risked opening his eyes, peering through the layer of tingling slime that coated his face.

The thing that had launched itself upon him was circling his master’s legs, tail wagging and huge dripping tongue lolling from it’s fanged chops. Thaddeus slipped the beast’s leash to a protruding stone, still clearly amused.

“I think she likes you boy.”

They had discovered ‘her’ shortly after setting up camp in the old villa – one of several that lay scattered around the outskirts of the city. Once they were the country residences of the rich and powerful, but now, having been abandoned and looted decades ago, were simply the last (relatively) safe resting place before entering Frostgrave proper.

Poking around they had chanced upon a hidden chamber – a menagerie of sorts with shattered glass cages still housing the dusty bones of their occupants. Yet one still held life – just – a sack of dark red fur that barely breathed.

By way of an experiment his master was preparing a healing spell, when Oddleigh had casually tossed the thing his apple core, and thus made a friend for life.

“What is it?” he asked, regaining his composure and wiping away the slobber.

“A hound of sorts – possibly a demonic hybrid - seems friendly enough though. I think we’ll keep her – many seekers keep warhounds I’m led to believe.”

“Well she can stay away from me! What will you call her?”

“Well, I-“


The scream came from another chamber – once a laboratory judging by the collapsed benches and smashed apparatus.

The spellcasters rushed to the scene, joining the rest of the band. One of the thugs lay prone, clutching a badly burned hand, while another pointed, slack-jawed, to a corner – a corner throbbing with pitch black shadow.

“H-he found a b-bottle, but it moved in his hand and h-he dropped it…”

Two yellow eyes glowed in the darkness, and a lithe form stepped, or rather, slunk, out of the shadows.

“Hello boys…”

These two words alone were enough to turn the men’s knees to jelly and make their hearts pound out of their chests.

“Wh-? Bl-?” Oddleigh gibbered.

The divine creature turned to look at him, wings stretching back and tail writhing around her thighs. Oddleigh had always considered himself a man of the world, (and certainly no milksop when it came to the opposite sex - on the eve of many a hiring fair he had roistered with the best of them, and there was always an accommodating innkeeper’s daughter), but as he met the demon’s gaze, he felt like that gangling pimply youth of yesteryear, caught with his father’s collection of ‘special’ woodcarvings.

“Tavern wenches and silly pictures?” purred the demon, “Oh we can do much better than that...”

“Madam I must ask you to desist!” Thaddeus strode forward, his voice thick with effort. “Go back from whence you came foul temptress!”

His staff glowed an eerie green, causing the demon to shrink back.

“Foul!? Me!?” she spat. “For that alone you shall pay… Husband! Attend to me!”

Suddenly she retreated into the unnatural shadows, her form shifting and changing.

“She’s transposing – fascinating!” gasped Thaddeus. ”Boy, fetch my notebook!”


Oddleigh nodded toward the shadows, where the demon’s wings had stretched wider and higher.


A new voice boomed around the chamber, as a larger, more intense set of fiery eyes peered out of the dark. The ground shook as a huge clawed foot thumped forward.

Thaddeus gulped. “Boy, be so kind as to fetch my banishing gloves while you’re at it – and Fluffy… Yes, I think we’ll call her Fluffy…”

Every summoner has to have some demons to call upon! The two infernals here are Reaper Bones demons, while the warhound is a plastic toy hyena, generously donated by my eldest and made to look (hopefully) more demonic with some Greenstuff.

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Bigger Boys


The dull sound echoed around the damp hills, muffled by mist and moss.

“I’ve found something! My lord, I’ve found something!”

Oddleigh hurried over to the base of the rubble, clambering over rusted gears and crumbling stone.

“Sshh! The master expressly told you not to make a noise – there could be others!”

It had been a few days since they left the Border Forests. The land was still barely hospitable, but the occasional sign of habitation - albeit ruined - meant that they were getting closer.

“I’m sorry my lord, but look…”

Orghai (or possibly Moghai - the thugs all looked the same to Oddleigh) jabbed his spade at the gleaming object.


“Ssshhhhh! Let’s see – c’mon, help me – but quietly!”

They slowly cleared the stones, carefully placing them on the ground next to the- whatever it was.

“Looks like a bell… Perhaps the master is right – this did used to be a clock tower, though why you’d want one out here is anyone’s guess. Look there’s something attached to it.”

“Looks like an arm my lord – yeah, a metal arm!”

“And another… I’ve seen something like this before – the automatons on the Artificer’s great clock in Ulfenhalle.”


“Mechanical men you dolt! They’d come out and strike the hour – it was all very clever. Hmm… but I see no workings…”

“All done with magic I ‘spect.”

Oddleigh sighed. “Oh why don’t you shu- hang on, yes, magic – this is a construct! Come on, help me dig it out fully!”


“Shut up!”





From the dark and noisome depths it whipped up through the sewers of the frozen city, coiling around soiled rocks and burrowing through rotting walls.


Where there had been food in abundance, where it has writhed sightlessly, where it had… changed… there was now nothing.

But even in the deepest sump of the deepest midden it had felt the sudden warmth, the vibrations and the life above.


And so, clawing and gnawing at the black soil, up it went…


It stood motionless; a stone monolith wreathed in steam rising from the pulverised mess that surrounded it. Blood dripped from it’s massive granite fists.

It had ripped, torn, stomped, smashed.

They tried to fight, or run, or cast their feeble spells; but it had been alone in this place of stones steeped in magic for countless ages… They stood no chance.

It felt… nothing.

The rage that had turned this hulking statue into a furious wall of destruction had abated. It’s massive joints no longer grated across each other with astounding speed. The hatred that had driven the golem do so utterly destroy what had once brought it to life and enslave it had gone as swiftly as it had come.

It stood motionless – waiting.


Three bigger creatures for the collection - L-R: a Medium Construct (a pre-painted plastic Dreamblade 'War Toller' figure, re-based and given a blue/green wash for verdigris), a large construct or golem (pre-painted plastic D&D 'Maug', also re-based and drybrushed) and a Frost Worm, or stand-in for a demon (a pre-painted plastic Dreamblade 'Crypt Worm' model, drybrushed and base removed).

Monday, 9 November 2015

Little Monsters

“…and so I headed north! You see, back home in The Pudding I was a Halfling – half-ling – a half-man, demi-human, something less than the norm. Out here I’m a Hobbit! I have worth! I…”

Nifty Halfinch may well be an excellent thief, but by The Lords he could talk! Oddleigh smiled politely, hoping desperately for an excuse to break off the conversation as the Halfl- sorry, Hobbit, wittered on.


It was his master.

“Thank The Lords!”


“Oh, I mean, my master is calling. This has been fascinating, but, you know…”

Oddleigh shrugged his shoulders and turned away before the Hobbit could respond.


“Yes master?”

His master was in a small clearing, a little distance from where their band had made camp after an uneventful journey from the steppes to the Border Forests. Thaddeus had swept the undergrowth aside and was pointing to the rocky ground.

“Our new ranger friend discovered this…”

Oddleigh groaned inwardly at the small stone circle that had been uncovered. Great – homework…

“A practice circle? Are the stars in the correct alignment master?”

“They’re right enough boy. I’ll have someone bring you a chicken, then you can get to work. Remember to-“

Oddleigh rolled his eyes. "Bind what I summon and always be polite – I know…”

Some nice little gribblies from CP Models - two 'Cthuloids' and a 'toadling'. Perfect for imps and/or ice toads.

"I told you to bind him! Tch! Leave it to me..."

Friday, 6 November 2015

Fighting Men

The ‘town’ of Uluk was really a rag-tag collection of yurts and shacks, huddled around what remained of an ancient watchtower that served as the settlement’s inn, meeting place and trading hub. Exposed to the razor-sharp steppe winds and knee-deep in slush, it was a miserable place, but it was the only thing that remotely approximated civilisation for hundreds of miles.

Coming in from the chill, the heat hit Oddleigh like a hammer as he half-tripped through the door of ‘the Tower’. Men looked up from their meagre meals and brackish drinks – nomadic tribesmen, used to the harsh life of the steppes; bandits and desperadoes, raiders en-route to the caravan trails further south; fighting men, down-on-their-luck adventurers with nowhere else to go.

Oddleigh gulped, feeling as if their hostile stares alone could gut him and rob him of his belongings before he could scream.

“I- I b-bring g-greetings from my m-master – the wizard from the old fort,” he stammered. “He is looking for men – for an expedition… Er, he has gold…”

I started off by cobbling together some basic fighting men for my warband - thugs and archers - from Fireforge's cracking plastic Steppe Warriors set. I've also invested in a few individual sprues from eBay, allowing me to mix and match a little bit too.

Assuming I actually get to play a few games, and do well enough to earn some gold, I've also done a couple of men-at-arms to bolster my warband.

FInally, some 'specialists' (L-R Ranger - mainly Fireforge kitbash, Treasure Hunter - CP Models adventurer, Apothecary - mainly Fireforge kitbash, Thief - Reaper Bones halfling)

Thaddeus Daemoncall, Summoner

Thaddeus Daemoncall was once the Dean of Extra-Planar Studies at the prestigious Ulfenhalle College of Magick. Here he cemented his reputation by building the Great Hall of Summoning – a vast auditorium where advanced students could practice the arts of demonology on a scale never before considered.

His career at it’s peak, there was only one goal left for Thaddeus to achieve – the chancellorship of the College. However he was beaten to the post by the establishment's leading Sigilist – Thaddeus’ rival for many years and a member of his opposing magical school to boot.

The new Chancellor soon began to put his stamp on the college – diverting funding from the Department of Extra-Planar Studies and lowering the intake of apprentice summoners in favour of his own Department of Supernatural Etymology.

The final straw came when the new Chancellor announced that the Great Hall of Summoning was ‘not financially viable’ and would be closed; the building to be used as an annexe to the Great Sriptorium. Thaddeus’ increasingly angry appeals fell on deaf ears and so, enraged beyond all good sense, he decided to teach the new upstart a lesson.

Luckily, he had designed his great hall to have the requisite summoning circle inlaid in the stone floor, rather than drawn on with chalk. The new Chancellor had simply had this floor carpeted over, so it was the work of a moment to, one dark and silent night, magically burn off this overlay and reveal the circle once more. Soon the College would witness the greatest feat of summoning ever attempted!

Alas one of the points of the pentagram had worked loose when the new bookshelves were dragged into position, and the circle was not secure…

As the College burned around him, Thaddeus was forced to run; his academic reputation, and indeed his life, in tatters. With his faithful apprentice Johannes Oddleigh carrying what tomes and artefacts he could grab, he escaped the pandemonium and fled to the outer reaches of the Old Empire – far from the reach of the magical authorities.

Here, in a ruined fort that once marked the boundary between the Empire and the savage steppes beyond, he carved out a new existence, trying futilely to re-master the arts that he had lost during that chaotic flight. His memory growing dim and his skills growing blunter with time, he scraped a living by casting minor spells and performing magic tricks for the nomadic tribes, raiders and caravans that occasionally came his way – until one day he heard tell that the ancient Frostgrave, cradle of all magical power, had begun to thaw…

Thaddeus is a lovely wizard figure from CP Models, whilst his apprentice Oddleigh is a Reaper Bones figure.

They stumbled through the blizzard and beheld Frostgrave...

Welcome, intrepid treasure hunters, to yet another my Frostgrave blog.

As you can see, my warband has battled through the raging snowstorm to reach that most dangerous of places, Frostgrave - the lost city of magic and terror.

Many of you will know me through my Very British Civil War blog and Miniatures Guide, so why Frostgrave?

Well like many gamers I've been attracted by the buzz that this new-ish game has generated in the wargaming community and, being a closet fantasy fan, it was only a matter of time before I too strapped on my snow boots and began the perilous journey to that ancient city of wizardry.

However two things were instrumental in finally giving me that final shove:-

1 - I was lucky enough to win a competition on the excellent Canister and Grape blog. I ended up with a number of Secret Weapon corpse field bases. Now, short of a sudden zombie outbreak in 1930's Britain, it was unlikely that I would use these in my VBCW stuff, but use them I was determined to do...

2 - Out of curiosity I looked at a few Frostgrave gameplay videos on Youtube, and came across the guys of The Battlehammer. They make playing Frostgrave look easy (always a good thing) and more importantly fun (an even better thing!)

So here I am, feeling a little nippy, but warming up nicely. Soon to follow will be some photos of what I've painted so far (you may have seen them on Facebook and the Lead Adventure Forum already), and there's plenty more to come!