In the Aristrax Marches – Ep07

Previously in the Aristrax Marches, the Ravens of Gadun delved in the old ruins of Ghostwood forest to recover the Parchments of Ugmal. Unfortunately after clearing the first floor of the dungeon, the Parchments were nowhere to be found, and they will have to delve deeper.

Turn 11

The party camped in the wilderness. For camp events I rolled that we saw a choice animal and get to roll twice in the rewards table if we go on a successful Hunting expedition and keep both results! Of course, hunting is now on the table.

For Upkeep I have to pay 1 Gold Mark, and I scratch off one turn of Myric’s Recovery (more on that later).

For Campaign Activities, Bolga Foraged for Herbs, successfuly and got a dose of Ironwood root.
Boots went on a Hunting Expedition and brought back two packs of Rations and discovered some Suspicious Tracks earning us 1 Adventure Point.

For the Adventuring stage we choose to continue the Quest and proceed with the 2nd Level of the Delve.

The Ravens camped outside the old ruins, taking care to guard the entrance to the dungeon. The ruins spread across the forest, so it is possible that other entries were possible, but Omac wanted to ensure that they wouldn’t give the advantage to anyone wanting their chance to the Parchments of Ugmal.
He assigned Bolga and Caldas to forage and hunt, since they’re what he considers the rangers of the party. They have their way with the land, and boy was he proud of his leader choices when they returned with herbs and supplies. Caldas even shared that he found gnawling tracks heading east. Information like that always proves important.

Once they were all fed and rested he stood up, packed his gear, and gave a speech.
“Ravens. We have another chance now to strike evil at it’s source. We’ll go deeper and deeper in the ruins, and get those scripts before anyone else. We have the skill and the strength, and we WILL SUCCEED!.” Their morale high, the warband entered the ruin, with Boots once more leading the way.


Caldas moved ahead first, and rolled A quiet entrance. I didn’t want to place any enemies at the centre of the table, giving them a higher chance of encountering us, so I decided to go ahead with the enemies.

I’ve rolled that the Foes are from The Curse of War threat, and it’s 7 Opportunistic Pillagers (2 slingers) with no Leadership.

With his first move, Boots is within LOS of the pillagers to the North.
NOTE: At the end of the battle I realized Myrick shouldn't have joined as he was recovering. Nevertheless mistakes happen, so I dealt with it in what I considered a fair manner afterwards. Myrick will not be counting down a Recovery Turn of course.

The Combat

ROUND 1

The halfling moves North quickly in the main passage through the rooms to explore the dungeon, and he comes upon 3 pillagers. Their warband must have entered the dungeon to loot, or -who knows- if they’re aware of the Parchments, to get them for their own. Not wasting a moment he charges at one of the trio, and with his light fencing blade, he carves a ‘C’ on the chest of his enemy, before he slices at his throat. Unfortunately as he does that, he hears footsteps to his left, and two more pillagers appear.
A slinger swings his sling at the halfling but misses, so his companion charges at Boots. He fends him off, and wounds him with a swift strike before moving out of the way.

Lady Liana and Omac move north to assist the quick halfling, while Bolga, Temir and Myrick move to the West.

The hulking duskling is careless and springs of a trap. A huge gong sound echoes through the ruin, and two more pillagers arrive to investigate it.

ROUND 1
ROUND 2

Boots attacks the wounded pillager, and finishes him with a quick stab, but the slinger follows up with another shot while the halfling is pre-occupied in melee, and wounds him.

Meanwhile Bolga and Temir charge at their opponents. Bolga cleaves a pillager in half, while Temir merely harms his enemy, who still stands. He tries desperately to get back at Temir, who deflects the blow, and follows back with one of his own, eliminating his foe.

One of the warriors attacks Lady Liana, but she blocks his attacks, and is pushed back in a draw. Omac joins in the fray, but he too is stopped by his enemy, who retreats backwards.
Myric shoots his bow at his enemies, but the arrow is stopped by their linen armour.

Seeing their companions fall, two pillagers flee, but the rest seem now even more resolute to defeat the Ravens.

ROUND 2
ROUND 3

Omac continues his melee with his enemy, but once more it’s a draw. A slinger shoots at him, but his plate armour easily deflects the bullet. The pillager doesn’t want to let go and lashes back at the Beard. He feigns a parry and then swings his sword in a quick slash that cuts the pillager along the shoulder, all to the chest, killing him. Another warrior charges at Omac when his attention is elsewhere, but thankfully the plate armour saves him once more. The blow is staggering and Omac is pushed backwards, behind Lady Liana. Now she’s attacked by another pillager, but she doesn’t intercept the blow. It gets through the armor and she’s down.

With the Beard covering the North, wounded Caldas runs South to head for cover.

To the other side, the warband still searches for the Parchments, when Myrick hears footsteps behind him. He turns to the enemy approaching from the entrance to the dungeon, but he hasn’t put his strength and he’s merely stunned.

Temir’s attention is drawn to the far distance where three more pillagers appear to be guarding a stash. He curses between his teeth believing they’re holding the Parchments, but as he’s about to move to them, something catches his attention. Behind a dark coloured brick is a hidden shelf, holding an ancient tome. It’s the Parchments of Ugmal! He tucks them under his cloak and whistles to the rest of the warband that they must retreat. They still will have to clear the enemies blocking their way out.

ROUND 3
ROUND 4

Omac attempts to cast a binding spell to hold his foes in place while he retreats safely, but he messes up the incantation and it fizzles to nothingness. A warrior attacks him, but he uses his staff to parry and manages to hold him off, albeit he’s pushed back in the process.
Myrick is attacked by the warrior at the entrance. He tries his best, but falls under his enemy’s spear. Temir draws his bow and shoots at him. The arrow is lodged in the arm of the warrior who cries out in pain. Boots moves closer and shoots his sling at him. The bullet hits him in the head, bringing him down. The way out is clear.

ROUND 4
ROUND 5

Omac focuses this time, and the binding spell is successful. Under cover, Boots runs out of the dungeon. The wounded halfling is safe. Temir and Bolga move closer to the exit.

One of the pillagers breaks out of the binding spell, but his companions block the way. He cries out to let him pass, but they can’t move a muscle. Their feet, are like lead, rooted to the ground.

Assisted by the spell covering their escape, Omac, Bolga and Temir get out of the dungeon safely, the Parchments of Ugmal in their possession.

ROUND 5 + ROUND 6

Rolling on the Resolution stage I got that Liana has a Serious Injury for 6 Turns Recovery Time, while Myrick was only Knocked Out.

As described above, this is where I realized I made a SERIOUS mistake here. Myrick wasn't supposed to join this battle as he was in recovery. Yet he did, and also was KO. I'm pondering on what I should do to keep things fair.
I think I should roll a 2nd time and keep this result, and also scratch off the A lucky break option.
So rerolling on Myrick: Item Damage: Light Armor. Okay. He's gotten a lucky break there, but I'm keeping his 5 Recovery Turns, and not reducing them.

On the Advancement both Boots and Temir Level Up.
Boots: rolled Speed or Skill: so I choose the Wits Skill.
Temir rolled Agility or Toughness Increase and I chose Toughness.

For Loot, I have Achieved the Objective , but I did not Hold the Field.
Loot Roll: Valuables: Bag of Foreign Coins: 3 Gold Marks worth.

Since the Quest Task #2 was Completed I rolled for the Quest Find: You have gained an item of great value during this task. I rolled up an Enchanted Item on the Loot subtables. The item rolled is Shadow Flight.

Also I get to see if the Quest has another Task or I move to the Quest Finale and it’s the Finale! For story’s sake I decided to roll the Enemy Threat now and it’s Whispers from Beyond.

Rolling on the News Events table, I’ve gotten that the Enemy is acting against you so I’ll negate my Ignore the First Enemy Plans roll.

With the Parchments of Ugmal tucked safely, the Ravens of Gadun retreated tactically out of the ruins, carrying their wounded friends.

Once they reached the safety of their camp they tended to their wounds. Myrick’s old wound had re-opened, from the strike that had ruined his armor. Lady Liana was also seriously wounded, and it would take her a long time to recover.

As Boots started counting the bag of foreign coins they found, and considering their overall value in Gold Marks, Omac dived deep in the contents of the Parchments.

What was described within made his hair stand on an end. It was telling the story of Ugmal, a Sorcerer of times old who in his lust for power and immortality delved in the dark arts. In the chronicles of his time he had raised vast armies of the dead, animated to his will, scourging the lands, but what was even more terrifying was the spells written within and the implications of them.

Ugmal was eventually defeated, but not before placing a contingency plan. With a ritualistic spell he cast, sacrificing entire villages, he is supposed to rise back from the grave and continue his mayhem of destruction. The spell was not finalized, but the components need not be collected again. With the spell still in pause, one has either to complete it, or dispel it, and thankfully the Parchments describe how to do both. That’s why they needed the Parchments, to destroy Ugmal once and for all, and also that’s why they shouldn’t fall in the wrong hands.

Omac reads the parchments again and again, his attention to all the details, when he glimpses Caldas examining a bow made from Ash.
“What do you have there?” He asks the halfling.
“This bow I found in the ruins. Intricate carvings all around. A weird feeling overcomes me when I hold it.” Caldas answers.
“It can’t be!” Omac exclaims. “But yet!”
He searches into the Parchments, and starts reciting. “…and Ugmal enchanted a bow for his lieutenant, from the strongest Ash wood, with runes, and named it Shadow Flight, and no tree, fence or stone could protect you from it’s arrows…”
“This will be helpful.” Caldas smiles. “Where to next, Raven?” He asks.
“The overgrown ruins of a stone tower in the Blighted Vale. That’s where Ugmal was defeated.” Omac answers, but looks to his wounded Ravens. Can they succeed with only four? He wonders.


Session Summary

Busy real life has got in the way and it took me a long while to play and post this report. Also this was the reason for the mistakes I did with the wounded party members.
I have a chance now to finish my Quest, but I’m very cautious as to going in with only 4 strong. I may have to switch to other adventures first. I carefully described the quest narrative so as to make sense with the game mechanics. It might also be a nice change of scenery doing some overhead battles because for some reason most of the battles I’ve done so far where in dungeons, and it has gotten a bit repetitive.