Chris Palmer This past Saturday we once again gathered to have our monthly Frostgrave Campaign game. We had 5 our 7 players in attendance. I set up the table to be 8.5 feet long with a 3 foot wide playing surface. The plan for this game was to do both The Living Museum" (Or in our case, The Living Museum District), and The Worm Hunts scenarios. We decided to go with a full compliment of 15 statues, one to accompany each treasure; and two Giant Worms. We also agreed to use the standard wandering monster rules, though surprisingly we only ended up with one armored skeleton appearing (out of 15 treasure rolls!). Which was just as well, as with 15 living statues (Medium Constructs), and two Giant Worms, there was plenty of carnage to go go around.
|A view of the table as the players ready their troops.|
My Illusionist, Kodak, once again found himself and his warband down by the Frostgrave waterfront. He hoped his luck would improve this time after his last outing, where he only managed to cast two successful spells; and his old friend, the Templar Elissa, was killed. Elissa’s twin sister was with them now; a Templar herself, who carried a magic +1 fight sword.
To Kodak’s left, he heard the Druid (Witch), Knabe, entering the city. The growls of the huge bear the Druid always seemed to travel with, echoed off the walls of the ruins nearby. Across the way, on the cliffs overlooking the docks, Kodak could make out some men from the Necromancer Lingzhu’s warband entering the city. In fact, he saw the Necromancer’s knight standing near the cliff’s edge; so the Illusionist concentrated and cast a spell of Mind Control on the knight. The knight could not resist the spell, and Kodak bade him to attack the Necromancer’s nearby warhound. The warhound did not take kindly to being attacked by one of his own party and savagely bit the knight, shaking him out of the spell. Kodak cursed under his breath.
|Kodak peers out from his cover in a stairwell, and sees the Necromancer’s Knight standing up on the distant cliffs.|
Shortly after that all hell broke loose for the Illusionist. Just as the thief, Linesse, made her way onto a wrecked ship at the dock, the copper statue onboard the hulk sprang to life and moved towards her. Almost simultaneously, as the thief Agamemnon made his way toward the treasure by another statue, a Giant Worm erupted from the ground beneath the treasure. The worm attacked the thief, throwing him against the wall of a nearby ruin where he fell unconscious.
|Linesse fights the statue and pushes it back, giving Jack Two, (at the top center of the photo), room to run across the dock and leap on to the ship’s deck in between her and the statue.|
Kodak then saw the Necromancer himself come into view, and he quickly cast Glow on the unsuspecting wizard. Suddenly, the befuddled Necromancer was covered with greenish-yellow light. The archer, Weiss, taking the cue from her employer, let loose a true shot from her position in a nearby ruin, striking the Necromancer.
|A Giant Worm appears at the feet of the Thief Agamemnon, as the startled Sister Reissa looks on.|
While Jack Two, the Treasure Hunter, ran to the aid of Linesse on the ship; the new Templar, Riessa, ran forward to deal with the Giant Worm, while Bash, the newly-minted Man-At-Arms, followed close behind. Meanwhile, the Thief, Cadwalleter, crept forward to steal the treasure out from in front of a statue which stood on the dock. As he picked up the treasure, he was pinged by one of the Necromancer’s crossbowmen.
|A view of the action as Jack Two prepares to leap on to the boat, and the Worm (at the top of the photo) battles Agamemnon.|
At this point disaster struck, as Kodak’s apprentice, Cherowyn, was struck squarely by a Bone Dart from the Necromancer. She fell to the snowy ground, and lay there motionless. Kodak, hardly had time to worry, as Cadwalleter came limping past him, carrying a treasure and being pursued by an angry statue. The Wizard had time to reach out and heal the thief, before ducking out of the way of the approaching statue himself. The Marksman, Danlin, put a bolt in the statue, as Cadwalleter moved further way. Danlin, now found himself the closest to the statue, and a melee between the two started that lasted until almost the game’s end, when one of the Necromancer’s missile troops killed the statue. Danlin tipped his hat at the distant marksman and made his exit.
|Kodak heals Cadwalleter as he passes by carrying treasure, pursued by a statue; as Danlin the Marksman takes aim. Cherowym lies in the snow nearby.|
Meanwhile, Sister Riessa had rushed forward to the Giant Worm. The Giant Worm struck her a mighty blow and she swayed a bit but kept her feet. Then the Druid’s crossbowman but a bolt into the worm, badly wounding it. Bash made it up to help Riessa, and with a mighty blow he killed the worm. He then made his way to the nearby treasure to pick it up, as the gravely wounded Templar imposed herself between the nearby angel statue and the treasure carrying Man-at-Arms. Almost immediately the statue jumped down at the Templar, as Bash moved as quickly as he could towards the table edge. With just one hitpoint left, the Templar fell to the statue’s first blow, but she had bought enough time for Bash to get far enough away that the statue wouldn’t pursue.
On the ship, Jack Two had reached the statue in time to allow the thief, Linesse, to escape and make her way down the deck to retrieve the treasure that still lay there. She grabbed it and hightailed it over the far railing of the ship, and headed across the frozen harbor. Almost immediately, the Necromancer’s warhound charged round the stern of the boat after her. She struck it once, and it fell back only to come at her again. This second time her blow killed it, and she headed for safety at the harbor’s edge. Jack meanwhile had been laid low by the statue, before Weiss up in her ruin perch could finish the metal terror off.
|Bash defeats the Worm!|
Kodak saw the Necromancer’s knight come into view again, so he turned his thoughts to controlling the enemy solider’s mind once again. This time he could feel the Mind Control spell take firm hold (He rolled a 20). The knight lumbered forward, and spotting the Necromancer’s Treasure Hunter and charged. In a spectacular simultaneous landing of blows they each struck each other down at the same time, and lay there piled one on top of the other in the snow.
|The Necromancer’s Knight, under Kodak’s Mind Control spell, attacks his own Treasure Hunter.|
Kodak realized it was now time to cut his losses and leave the city for the day. He gave a nervous glance back at Cherowyn who still lay there motionless in the snow. With the Necromancer’s Crossbowman and Marksman still up on the nearby cliffs, he dare not venture forth to check on her, but he just had a bad feeling in the pit of his stomach. He called her name, but got no answer; then turned, and followed the remainder of his warband as they melted away into the outskirts of the city.
Back at their inn later that evening, Kodak paced nervously just outside the doorway, bathed in the golden light from within. Edel, who had fallen from a shot from the Druid’s warband during a mad dash for an unclaimed treasure toward the end of the day, had made his way back to the inn shortly after the rest. Though he had been hurt and badly dazed, he suffered no lasting harm. Riessa, and Jack Two, had followed an hour later, bleeding and weak, but sure to heal in a couple days. As the sun set, Agamemnon had come staggering towards the inn barely able to stand. The Giant Worm had apparently done some serious internal damage and the hike back to the inn hadn’t helped. It looked like the thief would be off his feet healing, for a long time.
It was dark then, and there had still been no sight of the Apprentice. Kodak had a nauseous feeling in the pit of his stomach. Elessa’s death was too fresh in his mind, and he couldn’t bear the thought that Cherowyn might be gone too. He kept watch late into the night, holding out hope that she still might return; knowing in the back of his mind that very few survive a night alone in the frozen city.
Riessa found him the next morning, slumped over and fast asleep on an old log stool by the front door. The sun was cresting the nearby fir trees as she spoke his name softly to wake him, and saw the haunted look in his eyes as he slowly lifted his head. "Did she come?“ he asked hoarsely? The templar shook her head, and the Illusionist cursed. He stood and kicked over the log stool, and the Templar watched as the door of the inn turned pitched black, as did the Illusionist’s cloak.
Kodak cursed again. She had been a good apprentice; a quick study, and an attentive student. But he reflected that there had always been a bit of bad luck about her, though she had always maintained an optimistic attitude; and he realized he had known on one level that this day would eventually come. He took a few steps in the direction of the distant city, thinking, then turned and walked back towards the inn. For a few moments the sun passed behind a cloud and all around the inn turned dark. Riessa looked at the wizard and contemplated whether it was the Illusionist at work, or just the goddess above sensing the mood here below. She dismissed the thought and followed Kodak into the shadow of the Inn’s interior.
Kodak distracted himself with totaling up the treasure from their expedition. He had managed to successfully cast seven spells, which helped build his experience. They had also retrieved three treasures consisting of: 80 GC, a Staff of Power (3), a magical +1 fight Dagger, and a Grimoire which contained the spell "Push”. He new this spell already, so he planned to sell the Grimoire to help finance the hiring of a new apprentice. There was just enough gold left to buy Agamemnon the gear he would need to become a full-fledged Treasure Hunter. When he told the badly wounded Thief, the recovery was amazing. It was as if Agamemnon was a new man as he hopped out of the bed and tried on his new sword and scabbard.
Over a week had past since the fateful trip into Frostgrave, and Kodak knew he would need to start interviewing aspiring apprentices soon to find someone just right before their next outing into the city. He did not look forward to the task, but he found that he already missed having someone with whom he could talk about the magical arts. He picked up his new Staff of Power and walked outside where he saw Riessa and Jack Two deep in conversation. He smiled; the new Templar seemed to be fitting in quite well. He looked up at the sky and noticed the sun was shining.
To read an account of the game from the Necromancer’s view, please see: Tower of the Archmage