A Warm Welcome to my Blog

Sunday, 30 December 2018

Rufina Grey Eye's first Mission

Rufina Grey Eye re-adjusted her hat and looked straight into the eyes of the most fearsome woman, no, - make that Wizard, the most fearsome Wizard she had ever known and gulped. “You want me to lead the men on this mission, do you think I’m ready” “Fire and Brimstone you Shrivel headed Toad, do you think I would send my apprentice, carrying my name and reputation on a journey into the unknown and not have faith in my judgement that you will succeed. You Goat Brained Piece of Frog Spawn what do you take me for, some Dew Eyed – Dew Eyed Thing that doesn’t know when all that training and time I have put into to turning you from a Cross Eyed, Wet Behind the Ears Urchin from the Street of the Lost and Damned, into an Apprentice of the Great Thanda the Grim has come to fruition”

Thanda seemed to swell with indignation at this slight in her judgement, so much so that Rufina was worried that she would be turned into a Natterjack toad again, the last time Thanda was this angry she hadn’t been released from the spell for six new moons, that’s a long time as a Natterjack. She couldn’t stand insects anymore after eating them for six months, they felt like grit in her mouth, and the feel of mud between her toes and the constant croaking uuuruug, uuuruug, uuuruug. “I’m sorry I shouldn’t have questioned your judgement, obviously I’m ready, if you are sending me – then I’m ready”.

“Of course you are ready and to make sure I’m sending Aneka and Valeria with you”.

Rufina went white, Aneka was an accomplished warrior, one of the best Ruffina had ever seen, although she hadn’t seen that many but Valeria was – well Valeria was slightly insane, she carried 4 razor sharp knives and could fillet a fish or a man just as easily, she had a far away look in her eye, the left one, the right looked straight into your soul and pierced you through and through, worse than the knives.

Ruffina decided it was probably best to keep quiet and with a slightly strangled sound in her throat, she said “When and where”.

“Nicholas Price has come to me and requested we help him release his daughter, she has been taken captive by Yukio the apprentice to that piece of androgynous slime Sakura Tu. It’s a bit complicated because she is the maid servant of Thoria, the Lady of Argenis, you know of my relationship with the Lord of Argenis don't you, but that shouldn't come up if you are careful, you will be careful, - won’t you”. Ruffina realized this question didn’t need a reply. “Good”.

They are on their way back to Sakura Tu’s Black Tower and you will intercept them at the village of Grook, a backward hameau in a backward country. Aneka has chosen the warriors to accompany you, but understand this Ruffina Grey Eye – you are my apprentice, you carry my name and the name of Thanda the Grim carries power and death to my enemies, you will not let me down.

Well there’s no pressure for Rufina, a quick snatch and grab and then run like hell, that should work OK.

Aneka had chosen the rest of the band with care, there was another warrior to help with the heavy lifting but she had been able to get Akira the Bard and Tina to accompany them. These two had different accomplishments that she hoped would prove useful.

Rufina's plan is to send a couple of the band into the hamlet to find out where Yukio and Nic’s daughter are, then they can effect a rescue with the least difficulty.

Yukio was going to be the biggest threat, well maybe not the biggest threat but Rufina had to best her or Thanda was not going to be pleased and that would be unpleasant. So Yukio has to be neutralised and degraded which would reflect badly on Sakura Tu, which would reflect well on Thanda, which would reflect well on Rufina. OK got that.

There are 13 encounter tokens placed randomly, those in a building will stay put and those in the open will move about in a random direction.

The inhabitants of the hamlet can provide information on the location of the various groups, if you ask the right question in the right way and don’t upset them.
Gormy Gilbert, is one of them but he's not the worlds brightest star, or even the hamlets.

The bee hives are on the outskirts of the hamlet which is renowned for its honey production.

Although cabbage broth is the staple diet.

Akira the Bard moves up the road from the south. Travelling as a musician is a good way of not attracting unwanted attention and generally receiving a warm welcome where ever she goes.

Tina, who has other skills, has swung in a big circle to enter the Hamlet from the north, there are a few villagers about, or should that be hamleters but no one else to be seen. She peers in through the window of the nearest house and sees three surly looking fellows and maybe in the dark there is another figure, could this be Nics daughter, she’s not sure.

Moving further into the hamlet everything appears calm and still until Akira is blinded by a flash of blue light, as an encounter is revealed.

This doesn’t look good, a Fire Demon has appeared out of a worm hole in space, she’s never seen one before or indeed anything like it and her legs turn to jelly, she drops to her knees and starts to pray. Up until now she hadn’t realised how the power of prayer could help, please make it go away, please make it go away, please make it go away.

Oh it doesn’t help at all.

James the peasant nearest to the Demon runs into the cabin and hides. A couple of other peasants see it and run away screaming.

The Fire Demon is confused, everyone has run away, most screaming or are stationary and praying, the Demon is inactive.
The sound of screaming attracts Eku, Temko and his dog who emerge from the open shed and see the Demon. It turns towards them and roars.

Temko and his dog beat a hasty retreat. (That dog has a very strange expression on its face). Eku stands his ground, I’m not sure if he’s rooted to the ground because he’s too scared to move or because he is a brave and bold warrior.

Gormy Gilbert has reached the outhouse and takes a last look around before deciding to hide in the small insubstantial building behind him.

Attracted by the commotion Yukio and his/her captives appear out of the cornfield along with Herosita Gonzalez and her bodyguard. I’m not convinced if Yukio is male, female or a bit of both, I slightly favour female, this is a very old Games Workshop figure I bought in a sale, very old as in maybe 35 years, so if anyone has a clue as to who or what I would appreciate the information.

She sees the Fire Demon and has in her repertoire of spells a Bind Demon spell which is most fortuitous, she casts the spell, there is a faint crackling sound, a slight smell of sulphur and the spell is successful.

Akira has meantime recovered her wits and stopped praying in favour of hiding, usually a more successful ploy when confronted by the Devils Spawn, or indeed anything bigger and more ferocious than yourself.

Yukio and entourage move forward to examine the Demon she has enslaved, although for how long this will last is unknown. Eku has drawn his sword and has even thought about advancing on the demon but fortunately Yukio has enslaved it before he could do anything rash, and deadly, deadly to himself I mean.

Time passes, night has fallen, Tina and Akira have stayed hidden and watch as everyone goes to their own hut to sleep. The captives and Yukio together with the Demon and an underling are sleeping in the Hut centre stage, the one behind it and left contain 3 guards and the rest of the guards, Herosita and peasants were scattered around in the other huts.
The two girls make their way back to Rufina and they discuss the Demon and how will it affect them.

There was a plan and as usual not a good one, that involved holding shut the door of the first hut which contains the guards. This should keep them secure in the hut, while Rufina practiced her spell casting through the window.
Aneka, is the best warrior but also the only one with a ranged weapon, a crossbow, so she will stay in the street and provide back up where needed most.
The rest of the best fighters will burst into the hut containing Nic’s daughter and overpower the Demon and Yukio, rescuing the captive and make their way out of the hamlet north before anyone is awake to stop them.

You can maybe see one or two flaws in this plan but I do like to keep them simple.

Constantinus The Falcon was aroused from his sleep by a strong desire to go outside and relieve himself, not the most opportune moment for the hero’s of this story. A few dice later I decided he had gone outside unarmed, well who takes a sword and shield to the toilet?

Using an insight test it turned out Aneka with the crossbow was most alert and activated first, Nic second and Constantinus third. Well he had just woken up and was sleepy.

Aneka is a crack shot and even though it was dark and she was surprised by her target appearing unexpectedly she managed to hit him and he went down OOF.

Nic rushed up and pushed him inside and pulled the door shut. Unfortunately he made a noise, a loud noise that woke almost everyone.

Rufina cast her best spell, an Elemental Bolt of Power through the window, there was a Phuuttt and she felt a strong tingling sensation in her right hand that went up her right arm and into the left side of her brain and made her eyes water.

In the back of her mind she could hear Thanda’s cold grim voice from the dark days of her early training. Why she couldn’t use Lucifer’s matches like everyone else when she had to light the fire she could never fathom. No she had to do it with a spell – a spell that felt just like this one, sluggish and damp. The same tingle followed by the same pain and same watery eyes.

The three assault assassins were not as stupid as Valeria looks, and did not go running into a darkened hut, knowing that the occupants were probably waiting, especially as one is a Demon of unknown power. They surrounded the door and waited to see if anyone or anything came out.

And it did.

They had the advantage of numbers and would be able to fight 3 against 1 and deal with it more easily.
That is until Valeria the fearless warrior ran away. Her bowels turned to water and her legs into pumping pistons that propelled her so far and so fast that she was taken completely by surprise.

Fight or Flight and her legs had decided they knew what was best.

Nickolas is not a strong man but on the other side of the door is Eku and he is a strong man, it’s an unequal struggle and he bursts out of the door just as Rufina repeats her failed spell but this time the result is even worse than before, the spell rebounds savagely and she is unconscious before she hit the floor.

Aneka is still reloading her crossbow and reflecting this is not going as well as she'd hoped.

Tina rushes to Nics aid. Maybe the two of them can hold the doorway.

After a desperate fight Atsuko and Akira beat the Demon and it steps back a pace, through the doorway. Only one of them can follow, Atsuko is the fearless warrior and she steps through the door and faces the Demon alone.

In the mean time Valeria has recovered command of her legs and has stopped running. She is standing off to the left preparing to return and aid her fellows. Maybe not as quickly as they would like.

The Demon wins the next round of combat and Atsuko is pushed back and the Demon follows up.

It lashes out and she takes a massive swipe from one of his razor clawed hands and falls to the floor OOF. The Demon turns on Akira the Bard.

But she is as deft with a sword as with her mandolin and beats it back, the Demon steps back from this onslaught but seeing Aneka desperately waving to indicate she wants to fire at the beast Akira doesn't follow up.

In the background Eku who has a rubbish attack but a brilliant defence is attacking. With some almost miraculous dice rolls he has pushed back Tina and Nic this leaves the doorway cleared and enables two of his fellow kidnappers to step out and help.

The fight is not going well for Nic, he is pushed back a second time and has his back to the wattle fence and can go no further. Tina though is fighting like a tiny, fighty thing and is defeating her opponent, he is backed up against the house. Budi Kusuma believes fighting is beneath him when he has men to do it for him and watches the proceedings with care.

Aneka fires and hits the Demon in the eye this pierces it’s force field and it disappears, or in my case falls to the floor, she turns to the fight behind and draws her short sword and hefts the small buckler. Nic is down on the floor and both Eku and his mate Budi are moving towards Aneka.

Valeria has recovered her nerve and is moving back towards the hut just at the moment that Yukio came to the door and sees her. Yukio also has learned the Elemental Bolt of Power spell and she casts it straight at Valeria, who takes the full force of it and drops to the ground OOF.

This is not going to go down well with Thanda the Grim.

Akira the Bard moves from behind the door and attacks Yukio who has time to cast a Wall of Safety spell. Unfortunately for her this fails and Akira stabs her with the pointy end of her sword and Yukio falls to the floor.

There’s been a lot of falling to the floor so far.

Eku and Budi have attacked Aneka, they have fought to a standstill and here the three of them have broken off the fight to regain their breath.

Tina in the background has finally defeated her opponent and he is rolling on the ground groaning. If you were being kicked in the head you would be groaning as well.

A long shot to show Tina charged to attack Eku, Aneka is also back in combat and Akira the Bard has advanced into the hut and is fighting in the dark with a man in a brown cloak.

Although not for long.

Out of camera, Aneka has defeated Budi and Tina and Eku are having a ding dong battle. However when they both step back for a rest he realizes he’s on his own all his comrades are either dead of hors de combat, so when they call on him to put up his sword he agrees without too much reflection.

This ends the fighting and our heroines pick up their wounded and along with the rescued prisoners they make their way back to Thanda The Grim, who may or may not consider this a victory worthy of some renown.

The surviving adventurers. Aneka leading the party home but she is well aware that some polish may be required before they tell their tale to Thanda.

The wounded ones. Elemental Bolts of Power are not so powerful when cast by Apprentices even when cast at themselves.

Is Yukio female, male or androgynous? I feel I should name the Fire Demon, but what do you call a Demon, apart from Sir.

Most of the rest of the villains.

Temko and a very shamefaced dog.

This is why he's shamefaced. When I was clearing the table I found Temko and his dog still in one of the cabins, hiding ? I had forgotten all about him.
C'est la Guerre.

Well this was Rufina's first mission, not too successful will they be able to put enough of a gloss on the story or will she have to spend another 6 months as a Natterjack Toad.

Well if you are still here - thanks for reading.


  1. What a great opening adventure for using magic, I very much liked the amount of backfires they cast which seems very apt for apprentices.
    As for the model origins it is indeed by GW and was part of their magic user range back in the early 80's, the model was a conversion they released made from one of their chaos sorcerers range, I believe it was supposed to be male, as all their female sorcerers at the time were scantily clad

    1. Thanks Dave, I was quite pleased with the way the magic went, it certainly wasn't too powerful, especially when it went wrong or didn't work. I could just see the expression on Yukio's face, having blasted one for and then having another one stab you through your warding spell.
      Thanks for the info on the magic user, it's just that there appears to be some padding around the chest area!
      Cheers mate and have a happy new year.

  2. Getting in one last movie before years end, I like it :)
    Great looking set up John for this little adventure & while I'd guess you changed a lot of things from Frostgrave it still had the same feel to it.

    From what I remember of the game apprentices were not good at casting spells so I don't think you can blame the dice gods on the misfires :) really enjoy this maybe I ditched the books a bit to fast but you know power-gamer's are like that ;)

    Great stuff all round mate & I look forward to seen more :)

    1. My 58th post this year, I was hoping for 1 a week so that worked ok but I quite liked the idea of a round 60, maybe I can wish you a happy new year twice to get the count up.

      Regarding the Frostgrave rules I imported a lot of the spell names but changed the effects of them. I liked the idea of failure, but I don't like d20's because they give too wide a range of results. They only average out if you throw bucket loads of the things. So I tend to stick with D6's and throw a handful of them, the more dice rolled the closest to the result you expect.

      Ah you power gamers always looking for the new best thing.

      All the best Frank and have a great new year.

  3. What a great start to your new fantasy campaign, John. I thoroughly enjoyed that from start to finish. Whilst I was rooting for the girls I was never that certain they would succeed thanks to the many failed dice rolls and misfires, all of which added to the excitement and tension.

    I can confirm what Dave said about the chaos sorcerers. I bought a few of them but not the one you were asking about.

    Oh, and well done to you for keeping your promise that this introduction would appear before the end of 2018. I'm very much looking forward to the next episode.

  4. Thanks Bryan I'm pleased you liked it, I know there were no zombies which I really should have finished the year with, but I'm up to date with everything.
    Just the two games from DevLAM which I'm struggling with at the moment.
    I've got lots of games to play, to round off outstanding stories the adventures of Becky for one but am not really finding the time at the moment.
    Anyway I hope you have a grand new year with plenty of figures painted and games played.
    All the best.

  5. Great stuff! Characterful models, a sweet table, and a stirring tale. All the ingredients for awesome games.

    1. Cheers mate, thanks for letting me know you were here, and all the best for the new year.

  6. A good ending to this year, but maybe a bit less of a good ending for our heroes. Those demons are a nuisance at the best of times, and this was not a best of times so it became rather more than a nuisance.
    All the best and a happy new year!

    1. Cheers Joakim, I'm sure it could have been a worse ending, at least none of them died. ;)

      Hope you have a happy and prosperous new year, all the best

  7. Cracking game report Vagabond! Some fab minis here as well. Happy New Year to you and the family!

    1. Thanks Simon, happy new year and all the best to you and yours as well.

  8. Late to the party once again, but I was determined to read through this one at leisure and on the "big screen" (my PC) rather than rush it and squint at my phone!
    Really glad I did, because it's a thoroughly enjoyable AAR mate and I hope there's many more to come from the girls :-)

    1. Hi Greg is good to have you at the party whatever time. This one went on a long time I'm afraid I'll have to cut them down to a more manageable size in future for all of us. :)

  9. Wow, what a great opening adventure, full of action and tension. I did wonder if the Fire Deon was the worst of the encounters that the party could face.probably realate it
    Great looking set-up and a win for the party imho (that's probably how I think the conscious survivoufs will relate it at any rate.

    1. Yes I think that's how they will spin it and there's not many going to gainsay them.

      I sort of hope as an opening adventure it's not their last, I have so many second games to play from an opening one and don't seem to be getting round to it. I had hoped the blog would provide the impetus to do them but I seem to keep going off at a tangent.
      Any way thanks for letting me know you enjoyed it.

  10. Nice to see so many old Citadel ADD miniatures!

    1. Cheers mate, most I suspect came out of surplus stock or sale boxes.