Chris Palmer This past Saturday we got together for our 11th and final game of our current Frostgrave campaign. We only had 6 of our regular 8 players, so decided to use just an 8’ table. For the past month we all had been busily building bookshelves for this game as we were doing the Library scenario from the core rulebook. Also, because it was December, each player brought 3 wrapped Christmas gifts ($1-$5 each) to correspond with their treasure tokens. For each treasure token a player got at game’s end, they got to select a gift from the pile.
For the library itself, we used almost all Dwarven Forge sets, with the addition of David’s beautiful Temple as the central piece. We also had the first three random beasts to show up selected as classic geek Library creatures: a Wraith Librarian (Ghostbusters), and two swarms of Vashta Nerada (Dr Who).
|A view of the table before the game starts, with 8’ of Library! Note the enticing pile of presents at the far end. 🙂|
We chose our starting spots by drawing numbered chips this time, and then in that order we selecting the doors from which we would mark our start positions. Kodak ended up in a central spot, with the Elementalist Elsa on his left, the Chronomancer called the Doctor across from him, and the Sigilist to his right.
The old Elf Illusionist and his band made their way down a twisted tunnel that he had heard led to a long forgotten library. He could tell they were descending deep into the ground. They came up before a rotted old door, and before they broke through it, Kodak took the opportunity to divide up his group as best he could in the cramped tunnel. With him he would take Linesse and Hanwell, the Treasure Hunter’s; and Danlin, the Marksman. He assigned to his Apprentice, Leighlyndana: Cadwalleter, the Thief; Connisyn, the Treasure Hunter; and Bash, the Man-at-Arms. The Rangers, Edel and Weiss; the Templar Sister Zandkara, and the War-Hound, Odullorf were left to their own initiative. Kodak was hoping to move in quickly, grab any treasure to be found, and get out. He just didn’t feel up to an extended fight this day with any other wizard groups that might also be exploring this library. Both he and Leigh tried to cast an Illusionary Soldier, but neither had success.
|Kodak and his crew prepare to enter the Library.|
The old door was rotted enough that a couple blow from Kodak’s staff reduced it to firewood, and the warband began to press through the narrow opening. They were immediately faced with a “T” intersection, and Kodak and is group moved off to the left; while Leigh and her command moved off to the right.
There was an opening at the end of the hall Kodak had turned into, and the old Illusionist moved through it, followed by his three companions. They emerged into a large cavernous room. There was a curved stairway to Kodak’s left, which lead nowhere but up to the ceiling; Kodak thought he could see something of interest at the top of the stairs, so he motioned to Linesse to head up there to check it out. Before him was an expansive book case stretching almost the entire length of the room. The wizard motioned to Hanwell to move off to the right and check another bookcase on the right wall. Kodak’s Elven senses could detect a slight draft coming from that wall on the right, which made him think there may be a secret passage behind the bookcase that was there.
|The Doctor and his party emerge from a strange blue box!|
As he was contemplating his next move, his ears picked up the sounds of voices from across the cavernous room, and he thought he could make out the high-pitched voice of the Elementalist, Elsa, and, from the sound of it, a large number of her party. Quickly, he motioned to Danlin to move up and take a position of cover at the left corner of the large book case before them. Kodak was certain there was more of value in the room, but he didn’t feel confident he could take on another wizard and practically their whole party with just three of his warband. Hopefully Linesse could extract her treasure and Hanwell could sneak into the hidden passage before the opposing party got too far into the room. To help with this, Kodak cast Invisibility on Hanwell before the Treasure Hunter set off on his mission.
|Kodak enters a large room with Linesse and Hanwell. In the distance Elsa and her group can be seen heading their way.|
Meanwhile, Leighlyndana and her group had entered a strange room with a pentagram in the center. Upon the strange star carved into the floor stood a cauldron, still bubbling and emitting steam after all these centuries, and atop the plum of steam was a fully formed head, which glared at the Apprentice as she entered the room, it’s gaze following her everywhere she went. There was a treasure off to her left which she directed Cadwalleter to retrieve. To her right was a large staircase leading up to a large raised section of the library, with mighty arches and ornate carvings. she directed Connisyn and Bash to check out what may be up in that raised section.
Almost immediately, Leigh saw the Doctor’s Treasure Hunter enter the next room over. She attempted to cast Mind Control on him, but the link she generated was too weak, and the enemy soldier easily ignored the commands he heard being whispered inside his head. Then, before Leigh could react, the Doctor’s Apprentice, River Song, entered the room as well; and pulling a strange metallic device from a holster on her hip, River fired a blast of light (Elemental Bolt),at Kodak’s Apprentice, hitting her in the side as she tried to duck out of sight. Leigh winced in pain as a searing burn radiated up and down her left torso (-11 HP).
Through gritted teeth, Leigh called for Edel and Weiss to come forward and back her up. The duo fired their arrows into the far room, but they were unable to hit anything.
|Leighlyndana, on the right, faces off against the Doctor’s Apprentice, River Song (in the far room); as Cadwalleter, on the left, recovers a treasure. Meanwhile, the floating head on the pentagram keeps it’s eyes fixed on Leigh.|
Meanwhile, back in the other room, Danlin was able to get a good shot off at the Elementalist’s Crossbowman, badly wounding him. Kodak moved up beside him. Seeing Elsa’s Treasure Hunter pulling something of value from a crevice in the floor, the Elf Illusionist, attempted Mind Control as well; but like his Apprentice, Kodak’s attempt was too weak to influence the actions of the target.
As he was concentrating on the spell, the Illusionist was oblivious to the groans that began to emanated from behind a bookcase off to his left, and it wasn’t until Danlin turned and noticed the beast in time to shout out a warning, that Kodak was aware of a Ghoul which had appeared from out of the shadows and shambled towards him. The foul creature was upon the wizard before he had time to fully prepare, but his instincts kicked in; and one mighty blow from his staff crushed the skull of the undead horror.
|An overview of the action in Kodak’s sector.|
As Kodak was busy on one side of the large room, over on the far side Hanwell, invisible, had made his way into the secret passage, only to come face to face with another of the Doctor’s Treasure Hunters who was picking up a treasure which lay in the hall. The contact with enemy broke the Invisibility spell as the two opponents swung their swords at each other. Sister Zandkara had entered the room and she raced to help her compatriot, but Hanwell was at a disadvantage with his back up against the half-open secret door, and he quickly fell to his enemy’s blade. The Templar arrived moments too late, and was set upon by Elsa, who was also heading for the secret passage. Despite her diminutive size and young years, the Elementalist was able to better the Templar, and a single blow sent her sprawling on the floor.
|Kodak is set upon by a ghoul!|
Back in the raised portion of the library, Connisyn and Bash had been joined by Odullorf the Warhound. They were experiencing a good deal of frustration as the Sigilist’s Apprentice was using Telekinesis to remove the two treasures that had been located there. One of those had flown out the far end of the large room, but they could see the second one being picked up by one of the Sigilist’s strange duck-man minions, who then made it’s way down a staircase off to the right. Connisyn whistled to Odullorf, and the pair went racing after the enemy soldier.
|A view of the game in progress.|
The Sigilist Apprentice wasn’t going to let the treasure be taken without a fight, and she tossed a sphere of energy (Elemental Ball) at Connysin and Odullorf as they made their way down the steps. Luckily the sphere burst harmlessly above their heads, and they continued to pursue their quarry.
|The Sigilist’s Apprentice’s Elemental Ball explodes harmlessly above the heads of Connisyn and Odullorf.|
Meanwhile, back in the pentagram room, Leigh had cautiously moved back out from her hiding spot, to find that the room across the way had cleared out. She wasn’t sure where all the Doctor’s soldiers had gone, but she was happy to see she wasn’t going to be shot again any time soon by the infernal weapon of the Doctor’s Apprentice. She was also happy to see far across the room the Doctor’s Treasure Hunter dragging away a heavy load. Once again, she tried her Mind Control spell, and this time it took; She could feel her thoughts penetrate into the mind of the enemy, and slowly she turned his purpose to hers.
|Leigh Mind Controls the Doctor’s Treasure Hunter, right before he turns the corner and passes out of view.|
Connisyn and Odullorf were having success of their own as well. They set upon the Sigilist’s soldier, and easily bested him. Bash, moved to block any pursuit by other members of the Sigilist’s party. Then before he realized what was happening, the Siglisit’s Apprentice picked up a small piece of broken masonry, and after waving her other hand over it a few times, she tossed it over the side, down into the lower stairwell (Grenade). Bash called out a warning, as the piece of stone hit the side wall right above Odullorf and exploded. A large chunk of the stonework fell off the side of the staircase, hitting the dog and knocking him out. Connisyn luckily, once again, was unscathed. She picked up the Treasure and made her way towards a nearby door.
|Connisyn and Odullorf battle the Sigilist’s Duck-man, as Bash stands guard.|
Leighlyndana thought she had a treasure near her grasp as well, as the Doctor’s Treasure Hunter under her control slowly made his way towards her. Then suddenly the Doctor’s Knight raced into the room and interposed himself between Leigh and the Treasure Hunter. Leigh knew the only way to insure getting the treasure was to occupy the Knight; and momentarily forgetting the wound in her side, she raced forward to fight the Knight, allowing the Treasure Hunter to safely make his way across the room. However, she was in no condition to take on a full-strength Knight, and one good armored fist to her jaw sent her spinning across the room where she collapsed upon a musty old rug. The Knight was then able to fall upon the Mind Controlled member of his own party.
|Leigh is taken down by the Doctor’s Knight, in an ill-considered charge to try and keep the soldier occupied. (Ghostbusters fans will note the inhumanly stacked pile of books in the center of the room.)|
Shortly after Leigh fell, Kodak could see there was little to be gained by pressing forward, so he sounded the recall. One by one, his party members made their way out of the underground labyrinth and headed back to the Inn.
|Elsewhere in the library; the Wraith Librarian checks the book indexing (Near the center foreground), while the Vashta Nerada chase some of Knabe’s men (The shadow on the floor near the center of the photo)|
Back at the Inn, Kodak sat at his usual table and looked at the three treasures they had recovered. He knew he should be elated; they had recovered three treasures, no one had died, and having leafed through a few of the books he had found had given him all sort of new insights. (Absorb Knowledge successfully cast post-game) However, he couldn’t help but feel a loss of something. While those around him were in high spirits; laughing, drinking, and relating tales from the days adventures, Kodak sat and reflected.
|A contemplative Kodak studies some of the book titles during a lull in the action.|
Leigh noticed him sitting there apart from the rest, and went over to his table and sat next to him, setting her mug of ale on the table before her. “You’re very quite tonight, Master Kodak”, she ventured.
The old Elf looked up at her, and gave a half smile. “Seeing all those books today brought back some memories.” He said. “I have quite an extensive library myself back in my home in Cercenia, and today I was reminded of that.” He said the word again, “Home.”
He placed both hands on the table and looked at them, contemplative. "I’ve been here for almost a year now. I’ve learned much……seen much", he paused, “……and lost much.” He looked up at Leigh and gazed into her pale blue eyes. So full of youth and life. "I think it is time for this old man to return to his home.
"Oh, no, master!“ Leigh protested. Kodak smiled at her, a sad tired smile. He knew she would react this way.
"No, Leigh, my mind is made up”. He leaned forward and reached out a hand to take one of hers. He held it firmly. "You have a bright future, Leighlyndana. You are intelligent, and skilled. More so than I think you realize yet. “ He released her hand and sat back. "I will help you any way I can, once you decide where you will head from here.”
Tears now shown in the young half-elf’s eyes. She knew there was no turning Master Kodak’s mind once it was made up. She would miss him truly.
He stood now. “I will tell the others tomorrow.” He gazed around the room. “They’re a good group of companions, you know…” His eyes turned back to Leigh, “…If you should want to continue here on your own. They trust and respect you.”
Leigh contemplated this. Kodak gave her a slight bow of the head, then turned and headed towards his room. The young woman watched as he slowly faded into the darkness of the hall. She could hear him open the latch of his door, and then he was gone.
Epilogue: Wow, what a fun campaign! For the record books Kodak came in second behind his nemisis, Knabe, with 3200 Experience Points after this last game. Of the crew that started with Kodak those distant 11 months ago, Bash, Edel, Weiss, Linesse, and Cadwalleter remain. And I would be remiss without a last mention of those memorable souls who were lost in the frozen city: Cherowyn, Kodak’s first Apprentice; and Sister Elessa, his old and dear friend.
I am very sad at having to leave this brave band of adventurers behind; consoled only by the prospect of getting to know a whole new group of interesting explorers in the months to come.
|After the game, the real “treasures” are claimed!|
I want to thank all my readers who followed along and enjoyed reading about Kodak and his forays into the frozen ruins of Frostgrave. Your comments and support were greatly appreciated! Be sure to tune in next month to meet a new wizard and warband. 🙂