BTM

Wednesday, 17 July 2013


Chapter II
It had been a long day, the villages were few and far between this far north. The sun was not far off set, yet Lothar dare not strike camp here. They were entering the Chaos Wastes, there would be plenty of nights to come spent under the stars, not knowing what horrors lurked in the shadows, tonight Lothar planned to stay in the village he had been told lay not far ahead.
As they reached the crest of a hill, they saw it; ‘village’ had been pushing it a bit, maybe a dozen buildings clustered together on a rocky hillside, half of them no more than carcasses, burnt out and rotting. Yet it was all the shelter they could expect for a while.
Something caught Lothars eye, a glint of metal from the shadows of a ruin to his left. Without thinking, his hand rested on the hilt of his sword. An attack..? He was about to shout ahead to Khazeed when a blood curdling scream, a bestial war-cry echoed over the barren land.
It had begun.
X    W   X
The Road to Karstad
Forces:
Two players controlled a Khorn warband each, as GM I took control of Lothar’s dwarfs.

Jordan’s Warband
Konrad, Level 10 Warrior
3 x Orcs
2 x Beastmen
4 x Humans
Mark’s Warband
Level 10 Warrior
2 x Chaos Dwarfs
4 x Humans
5 x Skaven
Dwarfs
Lothar, Level 15 Hero
Grimbold, Level 10 Hero
Khazeed, Level 15 Wizard
4 x Clansmen
3 x Crossbowmen

Now as you may notice, this is weighted heavily in favour of the dwarfs, this wasn’t altogether intentional, not having played 3rd edition much, I really didn’t appreciate how good Khazeed would be. Anyway, its narrative, so it doesn’t need to be balanced.
Table Setup:
A road was mad long-ways down the middle of the table, lined most of the way with walls and hedges, a few other items of scenery were scattered about. One house was placed on one of the short edges, representing the start of the village.

 Deployment:
The two players rolled off and the winner chose one of the long table edges and deployed their warband within 8” of the edge. The other player did likewise on the other side.
I randomly ordered the five dwarf units, except Lothar who was placed third. The first dwarf unit was then placed 2d6” in from one of the short table edges (the table edge that WASN’T the village), on the road. The second unit was then placed a further 2d6” along the road, the third unit (Lothar) another 2d6” along and so on, until they had all been deployed.
All units were placed facing forwards (away from the edge I had started from, towards the village)
Objective:
As GM, my aim was to get Lothar to the village, ie off the short table edge towards which he was heading. If I did this neither warband won the scenario.
The two players were trying to capture Lothar. Once he had been taken to 0 wounds he would become captured by the model or unit that killed him. He could in turn be captured from that unit/model by beating them in combat. If any unit/model left the table while holding Lothar that warband would win the scenario.
X    W   X
Konrad roared, the blood running down his arms: victory was almost his. Lothar lay senseless on the floor, trampled into the mud. The battle now was not with the dwarfs, but with the other denizens of the Wastes. Konrad had not been alone in sensing the importance of Lothar, nor in wanting to offer him up to his god.
A man with a scarred face, his beard matted with mud and blood grabbed at Lothar and started to drag him away. Konrad raised his ax and brought it down on the man’s neck. Screaming and spurting blood over the prone dwarf he fell backwards, Konrad pushed on, hacking at the man again and again, the bloodlust of Khorne filling his veins. Everything else was drowned out as he worshiped his god in the only way he knew how.
Konrad’s rage was only broken when boom like a crack of thunder sounded at his feet, shards of rock flew into the air, cutting into him and forcing him backwards. A dwarf approached, unlike the others he was dark skinned and he held in his hand an orb of stone, glowing purple in the twilight.
Staggering, Konrad turned to face this new comer. The dwarf did not look like a warrior, yet on he came. Drawing a hammer from his belt the dwarf screamed something in a tongue Konrad didn’t recognise. The purple stone flashed and flickered, before Konrad knew it the dwarf was upon him, hammer blows raining down with unnatural force.
Blood ran down his face, it was his own, but Khorne didn’t mind, blood was blood. Konrad slumped to his knees. He had been beaten, but still Khorne had been appeased: Lothar was dead.
The dark dwarf grabbed his king by the collar and dragged him away. Konrad smiled, but as he did Lothar’s eyes twitched and opened. He looked straight at Konrad and both of them knew it wasn’t over yet.
X    W   X
The Sacking of Karstad
After the first battle we still had a couple of hours left ‘til kicking out time so we decided to plough straight on with the campaign. With Lothar injured and seeking refuge in the village, the two players decided they would wait for the morning then raid the village, hopefully capturing Lothar, but also killing as many others as they could in the name of Khorne.
Forces:
The same forces as the previous battle, minus a few casualties on each side (and a few injuries), plus we decided five villagers would stand with the dwarfs in defence of their homes.

Jordan’s Warband
Konrad, Level 10 Warrior
3 x Orcs
2 x Beastmen
3 x Humans
Mark’s Warband
Level 10 Warrior
2 x Chaos Dwarfs
4 x Humans
4 x Skaven
Dwarfs
Lothar, Level 15 Hero
Grimbold, Level 10 Hero
Khazeed, Level 15 Wizard
3 x Clansmen
2 x Crossbowmen
5 x Humans

Table Setup:

We set up the table as a village with one building, representing the tavern where Lothar was resting in the middle.

Deployment:

The dwarfs and villagers were set up in the village, with Lothar in the Tavern. The warbands decided to join together in the raid so they deployed together, anywhere with in 8” of any table edge. Lothar was unconscious at the beginning of the battle, every dwarf turn he rolled against WP, with a -3 modifier in first turn, -2 in second and so on when he passed he woke up.

Objective:

Similar aims to the last battle, capture or kill Lothar, kill as many other people as possible. The two players banded together for this battle so technically they either both would win or both loose. But if Lothar were captured I’m sure there would have been some arguing over who actually held him.

X    W   X

Grimbold smiled: he knew it. The villagers had been sure the attack would come under the cover of night. With most enemies Grimbold would have agreed, but he knew the followers of Khorne, he knew how they thought. It wasn’t just the killing that appeased their foul god, it was the act of war itself. Grimbold had slept soundly that night, safe in the knowledge that no attack would come until daylight. And now, as the first light of dawn crept over the ravaged land, as the dwarfs stood ready for attack he saw them coming. He lifted his ale flask to his lips but it was empty. Oh well, he shrugged, throwing it into the dirt, he wouldn’t be needing that for a few hours, maybe a damn site longer. Behind him Kaldar sounded the warhorn, not that anyone needed telling what was about to happen, still the dull, slightly off key drone filled him with pride; pride of a hundred-thousand battles fought since the dawn of time; pride of a hundred-thousand more to come. Maybe he wasn’t so different from the enemy after all.

X    W   X

Konrad was ready this time. He saw the familiar glint of purple light coming from the tavern. A fraction of a second later he was showered with rocks, but it was going to take more than that to stop him this time.

He could feel power generated all around by the slaughter, they might only be on the very edge of the Wastes but Khorne was made strong here by the flow of blood. Yet there was another power, it was strange but Konrad recognised it, he had felt something similar once before, though he couldn’t remember where.

This new power was flooding in, a gate had been opened somewhere. As strong as Konrad had become, even with the aid of another warlord, he knew at that moment it wasn’t going to be enough. He wasn’t going to win today.

Around him his warband was being cut down, yet Konrad laughed. We wouldn’t win today, but he would win. No matter how strong the mountain, eventually time wore it down to dust, in the end Chaos would win, it was the way it had to be.

Suddenly a jolt sent him sprawling. He grasped at the ground trying to push himself up, but to no avail. He wasn’t being attacked from without this time, but from within. Everything slipped away, the noise of battle, the screaming of the dying, even the rage that had filled him for years.

X    W   X

Wulfred cradled her in his arms. His only daughter, dead.

The warband had been driven back, as they always were. But each time a little more of their lives were left destroyed. Homes burnt. Crops destroyed. Daughters killed.

‘We brought this on you,’ Lothar said to him in a heavy tone.

Wulfred shrugged. ‘If not you then another. There is no life to be made here, I should have seen that a long time ago.’

‘Even so…’ Lothar did not know how to finish that sentence. ‘You stood beside us, we owe you for that. If there is anything…’

‘There are two things,’ Wulfred said without thinking.

‘Name them.’

‘Firstly, help bury my daughter. The dead have a habit of not staying so round here. I don’t know if burying her will help stop that, but I must try.’

‘Of course. And the second thing..?’

‘Let me join you.’

‘We are heading into the very heart of the Wastes. None of us plan to return.’

‘I know,’ said Wulfred solemnly. ‘That is why I wish to go. There is nothing for me here now. I do not think you have seen the last of this warband. They will track you where ever you go. When they find you, I want to avenge my daughter.

Lothar said nothing, he just nodded.  

X    W   X

It was almost an hour before Konrad came round. When he did all was quiet, save the gentle crackle of a building on fire. There was not a living soul in sight, only the dead.

The dwarfs were stronger than he had ever expected them to be. Konrad had not come across magic like that for a long time, even here in the wastes where it flowed like rivers across the landscape. It had saved the dwarfs this time, yet it was just possible it would be the end of them.

There was always a price to be paid when you drew on that sort of power. If Konrad could only remember where he recognised it from…he smiled. There was an ancient place he had been to once, where daemons had been worshipped before man ever set foot in the world. This was where he had felt the power before. Well, magic like that worked both ways, it never served you not in the end. If they could use it, so could he…

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