Ghost Archipelago Campaign Game 5: The Abandoned Watchtowers

Don Hogge

We recently finished game 5 of our 2018 Ghost Archipelago campaign.  We only had 5 of our normal 8 players due to real life stuff getting in the way.  The scenario this time was the third scenario in the rule book, The Abandoned Watchtowers.  With having five players, we only set-up two towers.  After setting up treasures, we then drew for starting locations.  As is my preference, I was able to choose a corner position to protect my flank.  I happened to end up opposite Fortrywn with Herndon to my left (To read Fortrywn’s report, click here Fortrywn Game 5).  The other two Heritors at the far end of the table were Kragmar and my mortal enemy, Griffin (his name is still in the book from Game 3).


Starting positions for the Heritors

Skorri’s Story

On board his dhow, the Raven’s Beak, Skorri sat under an awning discussing where to search next with the recently recovered Kukala (Hunter; missed last game due to injuries).  Trying to sail through the mysterious islands of the archipelago in search of the fabled Crystal Pool was problematic.  The dense fogs, narrow channels, shallow reefs, and seemingly shifting isles made navigation difficult at best.  The old journal he has from his grandfather is oft times confusing.  Its either a secret code written by a genius, or just the ramblings of a half-mad old man.  And the handful of maps it contains are really just fragmented drawings with few landmarks.  He had only found one map stone and it did not match anything in the journal.  “Skorri, come take a look” rang out from the crow’s nest.  Skorri and Kukala stood up and moved to the railing.  Skorri pulled out his telescope and took a look at the nearby island. A pair of old watch towers could be seem off in the distance, rising up out of the jungle.  Skorri decided they would make a good area to search, “Heave to and make ready to go ashore” he called out.  The ship came to a halt, the anchor dropped, and the sails were furled.  Two boats were lowered and the crew climbed in to start rowing to a small, secluded beach.

A watchtower has been spotted

It was a hot and humid as the crew set off from the beach and headed inland through the steamy jungle vegetation.  The buzzing of various insects became a constant irritation.  Kukala (Hunter) took the point position as they headed towards the ruined watch towers.  Skorri and crew moved forward through the undergrowth until one of the watch towers came into view.  From the architecture and the various runes carved into its stones, Skorri was unable to determine who might have built these watchtowers.  Nor could he ascertain why there were two of them built so closely together.  Off to the right, he could see the ruins of two smaller buildings.  These looked like they may contain clues to the mysterious towers or hopefully information to guide him in his search for the elusive map stones. 

Skorri’s crew prepares to move out

Moving up, Skorri scans the jungle vegetation.  Off in the distance, he ccould make out another crew heading his way.  From the foppish attire of their leader, he knew that had to be Fortrywn.  Remembering the last outing at the Floating Hulks, Skorri decides he will keep the majority of his crew in a close group, except for his archers.  He sends them to look for a place to provide cover for the others – and to harass Fortrywn’s crew.  Kukala (Hunter) whispers, “Based on the way the birds are being disturbed to our left, I think another crew is over there and moving towards the tower."  "Amras (Archer), keep a watch to the left.  Let move out lads” replies Skorri.  He then heads around the first ruin and moves toward the second one, Blue Boy and Chen Lee follow him (Crewmen).

Kukala spies a screamer monkey on top of the nearby watch tower.  Knowing these creatures have a tendency to draw other animals with their howling, he carefully draws his bow.  Taking aim, he releases an arrow.  It flies straight and true, hitting the monkey in the chest.  The monkey falls out of sight. Agger (Beast Warden) mumbles the words to Summon Animal.  Off in the distance he hears the “bzzzz…bzzzz” of a giant wasp.

Amras and Amrod prepare to fire on opposing crewmen

A wall of Brambles springs up to the front, blocking movement.  Fortrywn’s warden must be nearby.  Yen Lo moves towards one of the small ruined structures in search of treasure or other information.  Amras and Amrod (Archers) notice some of Fortrywn’s crew moving towards them.  They draw their bows, move up a little, and let loose arrows.  And both fly wide of their target. The sunny day suddenly darkens as dense cloud cover begins to move in reducing visibility (Call Storm was cast by Kragmar’s warden).

Skorri picks up a treasure

Skorri continues his move to the small ruined building.  Once there, he spots a treasure chest in the rubble.  He feels a twinge of pain as his blood start to boil as he Surges to pick up the chest.  Blue Boy and Chen Lee move up to protect their Heritor as they hear the sounds of Fortyrwn’s crew moving nearby. Kukala spots one of Fortrywn’s crew slinking through the jungle and takes a snap shot at him.  His arrow strikes home but the crewman gets away.

Skorri’s crew claim a treasure

Agger casts Envenom on Amras’ arrow to enable the two archers to take out two of Fortrywn’s crew members; preventing them from picking up a treasure item laying in the brush.  Amras shoots and misses (The poisoned arrow always misses).  Amrod shoots and hits the treasure thief for some minor damage. Agger’s summoned wasp makes a bee-line (or is that a “wasp-line”) for Fortrwyn’s archer.The cloud cover starts to sink down, making it harder to mark targets (14 inch line of sight).


A Wasp attacks Fortrywn’s archer

Skorri drops the treasure beside Blue Boy who picks it up and fades into the jungle, heading towards the beach.  Skorri moves to a window and spots some movement in a nearby jungle area.  Knowing it is not one of his own crew, his blood burns through his veins as he Surges to take a quick shot at the unknown target.  He hears the arrow strike home with a loud “TWACK”, someone is hurting for certain (10 points of damage).  Seeing Skorri’s shot, Kukala takes aim at the same target.  He pulls back and releases.  His arrow flies straight and hits his target.  Kukala is surprised as the target falls into the grass and rolls into view, it turns out to be Fortrywn’s young warden. Agger again cast Envenom on Amras’s arrow, and again he misses his target.

Kukala takes out Fortrywn’s Warden

The wasp buzzes around the archer looking for an opening.  The archer frantically swings his dagger to and fro and manages to nick one of the wasp’s legs (1 point of damage).  Another of Fortrywn’s crew moves in to gang up on the poor beast.  The wasp becomes incensed and without any hesitation, grabs the crewman with its forelegs and drives his stinger deep into his chest, killing him.  The wasp turns as a sword bounces off his tough chitin shell.  A third member of Fortrywn’s crew has joined in the fight.  The archer sees and opportunity and cowardly stabs the wasp in the back.  Somehow he found a seam between the chitinous plates and his dagger sunk deep.  The wasp spasmed, his wings beating so fast it almost knocked the two humans off their feet.  Then the wasp seized up and dropped to the jungle floor.  Fortrywn’s crew then ran like scared rabbits into a nearby patch of jungle.

The wasp attacking Fortrywn’s crew

Skorri moves twice to get line of sight on Fortrywn’s crew.  He then Surges to take a shot but he  misses his mark due to the reduced visibility.  Kukala tries to climb over the barrier of Brambles but the barbs and vines catch his clothing and he is unable to free himself.

Agger hears the hissing of a snake slithering up behind him.  He turns and his heart skipped a beat or two – he sees an anaconda heading straight towards him.  He quickly speaks the magic words for Control Animal.  His success causes Agger to smile as he sends the creature off to protect the left flank.

Amras and Amrod continue their cycle of shooting and missing.  Return fire is more accurate as Amras is hit by an arrow from Fortrywn’s Hunter (4 points of damage).  Skorri moves forward and takes a shot at Fortrywn’s elven crewman.  His miss causes his blood to boil as he Surges to shoot again.  This time his shot is on target and the crewman slumps to the ground.  Seeing Skorri moving forward, Agger casts Envenom on Skorri’s sword.  He might need it.


Skorri and crew chase after a treasure

Kukala is finally able to free himself from the Brambles and takes a shot at Fortrywn.  His arrow strikes straight and true but is deflected by Fortrywn’s armor.   Seeing Fortrywn’s crew on the verge of escaping with the stolen treasure, Amras draws another arrow and takes careful aim.  He holds his breath for a moment and releases his arrow.   Amras watches as the arrow strikes his target and takes out Fortrywn’s crew-woman.  Amrod lines up his shot and lets it fly.  The arrow strikes the other crewman in the chest.  The crewman falls to the ground.  Finally a successful round of shooting by Amras and Amrod.

Amras is then charged by Fortrywn himself.  He tries to block his attack using his bow.  Although Amras successfully deflects his thrust, he is forced to stumble backwards a few steps.  He is then struck hard in the chest by an arrow fired by Fortrywn’s Hunter.  Dropping his cleaved bow, Amras falls into the jungle vegetation, never to rise again (Rolled a 1 on the recovery table).


“NO!!!”, seeing Amras fall, Skorri charges into to combat with Fortrywn, his sword glowing green with venom.  Chen Lee also charges forward to support his Heritor.  Skorri’s strike sees his sword bite deep into the side of Fortrywn’s breastplate, releasing its deadly toxin (Skorri roll: 19 + 8 vs Fortrywn roll: 18 + 5).  Fortrywn is so badly wounded (14 points of damage) he can barely retain his footing as he feels the effects of the poison oozing through his body.  Vengefully, Skorri lets his blood burn as he attempts a Backswing.  He must have been blinded by the anger of seeing Amras fall as his backswing fails to connect (He takes 3 points of damage for failing a Heritor ability). 


Skorri and Fortrywn cross swords

Agger sees Skorri in pain and quickly casts Water of Life on him.  Skorri feels the effect of the spell restoring some of his health as he takes up a defensive posture against Fortrywn’s counter attack.
Meanwhile, seeing the treasure chest get picked up, Amrod and Taucher move to engage in combat against Fortrywn’s Pearl Diver.  With a great display of swordsmanship, neither side can gain an advantage as the Pearl Diver does a good job of holding off Skorri’s crewmen..

Seeing that he is outnumbered, and over-matched by Skorri’s superior skills, Fortrywn calls upon his Heritor abilities and executes an Evade.  He successfully spins around behind Chen Lee.  The two exchange blows with Chen Lee taking a cut to his arm as he is forced back out of combat.  Noticing that Chen Lee is safe for the moment, plus seeing the venom starting to have an effect on Fortrywn, Skorri decides to disengage.  He turns to leave, as Fortrywn hurls profane insults at him.  Ignoring him, Skorri rapidly moves to assist Amrod and Taucher with fighting Fortrywn’s pearl diver.  As he reaches the melee, he ignores the pain and Surges to engage his opponent.  His momentum allows him to deflect the pearl diver’s thrust.  He then twists his blade to the left and strikes him hard with the flat side of the sword against his temple.  The pearl diver collapses into the vegetation as he loses consciousness, the chest tumbling to the ground.  Skorri directs Amrod to grab the treasure and fall back.  He does so and quickly fades into the jungle (i.e. Runs off the table).

Skorri and crew capture a treasure – from Fortrywn

Off in the distance, the roar of a Monarch can be heard (A random creature roll).  Not wanting to hang around to catch a glimpse, Skorri quickly whistles the recall signal.  Before he departs, he turns and raises his sword in a salute to Fortrywn, “You lost today old boy. But that doesn’t mean you have to like it.  Better luck next time."  He and his remaining crew then start to move back towards the beach.

Post game photo opportunity

 Epilogue

A good game for Skorri and his crew recovering three treasures, even though he did lose one of his Specialists (Amras the Archer).  No really worth heading back to port to just replace a single Specialist – I hope.  We’ll see how the next game plays out.

Keeping the crew mostly together with covering and harassing fire from the archers seemed to work well this time around.  The summoned wasp helped out also diverting Fortrwyn’s crew’s attention for a while.  Skorri was aided by Fortrywn splitting his crew into three teams.  Of course focusing on Fortrywn did allow Herndon to have a pretty much free attempt at the central treasure on top of the tower.  Herndon did have to contend with a couple half-hearted attempts by both Kragmar and Griffin but didn’t get any pictures of that action.  Maybe next time I can get some action shot from the other end of the table.

from Wargaming Notes http://wargamingnotes.blogspot.com/2018/05/ghost-archipelago-campaign-game-5.html
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from Tumblr http://tumblr.hawks-club.org/post/174354694783
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