Wednesday, 23 May 2018

Aeon Flixx’s Mysterious Motives

“Come now, there isn’t much time!”

Aeon Flixx, Chronomancer, plunged headway down the dark passageway.

“Mistress, be careful!” wheezed Brunhilde, her apprentice, as she struggled to keep up. “You don’t know what’s ahead!”

“Oh I do!” Aeon briefly flourished the tattered parchment before continuing to rush forward. “Tonight is the Night of Lost Children! I have to time this correctly or-“

Her voice disappeared as she turned a corner and was gone.

Brunhilde puffed and redoubled her efforts, motioning frantically to the rest of the warband to keep up.

“I hope you know what you’re doing mistress!”

After taking quite a beating in the last game, Giles was still keen to keep playing and, as we had plenty of time, we decided on another delve into the Breeding Pits. With all the scenarios finished, we opted to try out the Ulterior Motives cards, but using the dungeon exploration rules (traps, secret passages etc.) After slightly rejigging the scenery we both drew a card, and…

So I had to place a pit in Giles’ half of the board and then get my wizard up to it by the start of turn five, in order to benefit from the magic of the Arcane Geyser. This would mean putting Aeon in the front line, rather than using wizard eye to do her dirty work for her…

Giles drew the ‘Once Bitten’ card, which meant that one of his soldiers had been chomped by a werewolf, which now lurked in the centre of the board. He had to slay the beast by a certain time or we’d have two werewolves on our hands.

Aeon’s team sallied forth from one of the doorways. Do you see anything wrong with this picture? Count the figures… I was toying with replacing the tunnel fighter with a mystic warrior and ended up putting both of them on the table! I only realised when I was going through the photos afterwards. Oops – my mistake!

Giles’ correctly sized warband deployed opposite. Using the treasure placement rules from Ulterior Motives meant that there was less treasure to play for, although Giles still had the reveal secret spell to help raise the stakes.

Aeon’s band moved forwards in short order, with the Chronomancer herself moving up the left flank towards the pit (from which the arcane geyser would erupt). Meanwhile an Amplipede scuttled into view.

Oh no, not again! The poisonous critter promptly damages both thug and warhound, which meant that to all intents and purposes they were wounded and down to one action each. Still, at least it kept the creature occupied while one of Aeon’s thieves nabbed a treasure.

This particular bug was eventually squashed, thankfully. With this little episode over the remainder of the warband pressed forwards. On the left flank, Aeon was getting rather close to the opposition.

Dangerously close in fact! The enemy warhound quickly pounced on her thug bodyguard, allowing Shazzam’s captain to advance menacingly on the wizard. Not being the best of fighters, she gulped and prepared for combat…

But help was at hand! Using his ‘sprint’ skill, Aeon’s own sellsword Grey Leopard raced to the rescue, alongside a thief, speeded up thanks to a fleet feet spell. The two captains clashed and Grey Leopard prevailed!

Phew – panic over! With Aeon out of danger, the enemy warhound was shot by one of the archers while the wizard continued to head for the geyser.

In the centre of the table, Brunhilde had been cautiously sneaking in with her men to avoid the attentions of the werewolf. Shazzam’s band were in more of a hurry and thus launched themselves at the beast!

The battle was swift and brutal, but they prevailed. Their reward was a nearby treasure token, a bounty for the creature’s head and experienced earned for fulfilling their objective.

But could Brunhilde’s men snatch their hard-won spoils from them? Not if the performance of the mystic warrior was anything to go by! The specialist was easily dispatched by a tunnel fighter – at least I had the right amount of figures now!

Not to be put off, the rest of the warband piled in to engage the enemy. For most of the day my dice rolls had been very jammy, but now the Dice Gods were beginning to redress the balance…

Still, perhaps a wizard eye would help matters a little. Aeon duly cast the requisite spell before hurrying off to reach the pit in time.

Just made it! The arcane geyser erupted from the pit, allowing the Chronomancer to collect the magical liquid that spewed forth. Unfortunately though, the thief that had scouted ahead was blinded by the eruption.

Thus fulfilling her objective, Aeon returned to the melee in the central chamber. Wounds were dealt and fighters fell, but all the while Shazzam’s band slowly gained the upper hand.

Grey Leopard, our gallant captain, fell under the onslaught! This left a single archer to try to mug the opposition of their loot. Brunhilde, having previously cast time store, tried to assist by stepping forward, missing with an elemental bolt, and then stepping out of the way again.

The warhound, poisoned but still with some fight left in him, attacked the withdrawing thug, hoping to persuade him to drop his treasure. Alas he failed to see the dog’s side of the argument and put him down.

It was all or nothing – even the apothecary piled in! The old sawbones didn’t last long against the enemy tunnel fighter though.

The archer was now facing odds of two to one, but bravely managed to dispatch the enemy ranger, who dropped the valuable werewolf head.

This left a gap in the melee for Aeon Flixx to step up with her trademark elemental bolt and blast the tunnel fighter!

The archer now pushed on the engage the fleeing thug, who, slowed down by the weight of the treasure, had been caught by the thug that had been poisoned by the Amplipede. The pair of them managed to defeat their adversary, thus nicking his loot. With this last throw of the dice, both exhausted warbands withdrew to count their ill-gotten gains.

A much more frantic game than last time, with risks taken by both sides in order to meet their objectives. I could have sat back once I had fulfilled mine, but decided to throw everything in to get an equal share of the treasure, and the werewolf head to boot. Luckily the survival rolls were kind, though I did have to replace one or two soldiers and also docked myself some gold as punishment for fielding too many figures.

Check out Giles' report at

Aeon Flixx’s new magic ring, forged in the heat of the arcane geyser, sparkled in the firelight as she turned her wrinkled hand this way and that to examine it.

She reached for the wineskin before slumping back in her armchair – the last few days’ adventures finally catching up with her.

Had it been worth it, she mused. Financially, yes, but she had discovered that the secrets of the Beastcrafters were not the answer to the terrible problem she would have to solve.

No, if the writings she had unearthed were correct, she would have to lead her band back to the surface and travel to that ancient holy place known by the barbarian tribes as The Hallowed… and there face the evil head on…

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