Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Hackfest or when things go wrong!

‘My name is Milgos and I am here to free you.’ – Milgos emancipates the slaves
A mountain troll
‘Here she is my lord.’ Lord Winthrop’s manservant ushered in wild-eyed woman in servant’s garb ‘Just hired her this morning as a kitchen hand. She says someone called Milgos liberated her from one of the Mountain Troll halls. I recalled the name Milgos from the minstrel’s tales your fond of and thought you might want to talk with her.’
‘Your intuition serves you well.’ Lord Winthrop praised his servant before turning his attention to his new kitchen hand. ‘Your name girl?’
'The trolls called me Brigitte me lord.’
‘Very well Brigitte, tell me how you came to meet Milgos and his group.’
“Isn’t much to tell me lord. I was serving in the halls of the Mountain Trolls. Carrying haunches of mutton and steins of ale from the kitchens. It was one of the Jarl’s many feasts where he would ramble on about faded glory and then drink to excess. Dradeel, a slave like me only a gnome, approached and whispered  ‘Head to the corner. There is a wizard about and he means to free us with magic.’ Now I think to myself ‘the kindly wizard must be about to teleport us to safety. But no.’ The wizard, who I learned was Milgos, starts chanting and waving his arms from his hiding position under one of the giant trestle tables they bring out for their feasts. His chanting and waving gave his position away but it didn’t matter as a great ball of fire engulfed the Mountain Troll Jarl and his hearth guard. All hell broke loose as troll warriors and maids raced towards their attacker. We servants ducked under benches trying to keep out of harms way. The Jarl’s wife was howling in anguish as the fireball had roasted her child alive. The Mountain Trolls filled their hearts with hate and vengeance as they poured from the hall seeking wizard blood.’

‘Fighting all sense of self-preservation I edged towards the halls exit so I could witness the unfolding fight. I hoped my cruel masters the Mountain Trolls, would be defeated and Milgos would rescue us. While I couldn’t see much I did see three armoured figures, whom I would later learn were Ugh the toad-slayer, Jana wizard-bane and Betty the corpse-guardian. They were fleeing before the horde of trolls. I heard a high-pitched voice exhorting them to run faster but could not see who uttered the warning. I would later learn it was the invisible Milgos.’
‘I heard he spends more time invisible than visible and that he slowly ebbs and fades from this world.’ Lord Winthrop mused.
Onkel the three headed troll
‘Couldn’t say me lord. In fact I saw little of what he got up to during the battle, probably all the more so given that he shrouds himself in invisibility wherever he goes. Though I did hear some of what unfolded from those working in the kitchen. They say he severed the spine of Onkel the three headed troll. Stabbed him in the back when he wasn’t looking. He’s good at the sudden stabbing as he gutted a troll maid towards the end of the struggle. He strikes from the invisible then fades into the shadows. He’s like an assassin only without the evil.’

‘While the warriors where putting up a stout defence in the hall, driving back the troll horde, Milgos was leading a band of troll chefs a merry chase in the kitchens. The trolls hunting the evasive wizard threatened the kitchen staff hoping they would give up the heroes position. Even when they squeezed a gnome so hard that his eyes popped from his skull the kitchen staff would not betray their potential savior. Milgos eventually distracted his furious troll hunters with a sound cantrip and in doing so saved the lives of many kitchen staff.’
‘Perhaps he is a hero after all?’ Interrupted Lord Winthrop. ‘I had heard mixed accounts up to this juncture. I had been erring on the side of Milgos being a rogue of ill intent who wears the trappings of a hero only to lend legitimacy to his larcenous and murderous inclinations. This unkind reading of his character I owe in the main to his dark elf heritage.’
‘Dark elf me lord? He aint no dark elf. I know dark elves on account of how some were guests at the Jarl’s feast. They ran at the first sign of trouble. They didn’t look like Milgos at all. He’s a hero my lord, no doubt about it. He fought the Troll chefs while his friends faced off against the furious horde.’

Send more trolls!
‘I could hear the Jarl and his wife cursing and wailing behind me over the death of their son. While they where distracted a troll crone lead the assault. She charmed the Toad-slayer into leaving the safety of the corridor that the heroes held. The warrior staggered into the midst of the mountain trolls his mind ensorcelled till the brutes brought their vengeful axes down upon him. Somehow he survived the assault and even managed to fight his way back to the defensive position of his companions.’ 
‘There was much blood shed in that corridor. Troll’s retreated or where slain. The troll’s remorseless assault wore down the heroes. Ugh in particular took some terrible blows. Yet Jana’s prayers to the gods soothed his wounds and kept him standing. The battle raged for almost half an hour before the grief stricken Jarl pushed through the ranks in order to bring the conflict to a head. He faced off against the toad-slayer. The Jarl’s mighty two-headed battle-axe, easily 6 feet in length, clashed against the toad-slayers dragon slaying sword. There could be only one and as it turned out that one was Ugh Toad-slayer. With the Jarl’s head separated from his body the tide had turned and the remaining trolls, despite comfortably outnumbering the heroes, had had enough. They turned tail and fled leaving the heroes surrounded by corpses. They immediately piled up the bodies, dowsed them in oil and set them alight.’

‘And that’s all there is to tell. Me and the other servants fled to the surface. From there we made it to the city.’
‘Thank you Brigitte for a most enlightening tale.’ Lord Winthrop gestured for his manservant speaking quietly in his ear at his approach ‘Bring me the sage.’

Monday, 16 July 2012

Someone left a clue in this bin

Monty likes researching at the library
Yes, me again, you old pal Monty. Things have taken a turn from the horrific, with the grisly murder of my friend, to the academic with our tirelessly slogging through high society gossip pieces. We fled the scene of Elijah Jackson's murder and stopped in for a quick drink at the local speak easy. A shot of bourbon soon calmed my nerves. I don't understand these Americans and ther temperence movements. A man needs a stiff drink I say, particularly after witnessing a ritualistic murder. From a backrom in the speak easy me and my archaeologist friend Dr Raymond Howser MD did our best to form a plan from the myriad of clues before us. Should we check hospitals for gunshot victims? If you recall in my last correspondence I had shot a murdering cultist in the back as he fled the scene.

Or should we look into the members of the expedition? We could do some research based on the items we had found on the deceased - matchbooks and lecture tickets. Surely there was a greater mystery afoot that would take some time and careful study to unravel.

After vigorous debate we decided to visit the 'News of the World', a dreary tabloid full of celebrity scandal and gossip.  Sadly we were turned away on account of the late hour. We had decided to begin our investigation after two or three bourbons and found it was close to eleven at night. The night watch man was not helpful insisting that the journalists and archivists had all gone to bed. If you ask me they have no right to the title of journalist. A real journalist would be out there breaking news at all hours. The news and likewise the presses never stop. I told the night watchman as much to which he smugly replied that the presses were working but the journalists had gone to bed. I should have struck him with my cane for his impertinent tone alone.

Crestfallen, we left the scene, but then the most fortunate thing occurred. Despite the late hour and the mist rolling in off the bay, I noted a discarded stack of news papers in a nearby bin. The title ,'Carlisle plans idiotic expedition', got my attention for it was the Carlisle expedition that my good friend Elijah Jackson had got himself entangled in prior to his untimely death. The paper was most enlightening and so my friend and I decided to dedicate the folowing day to research at the papers archive. This location was known lovingly as 'The Pit'. We discovered a great deal about the members of the ill fated expedition and the doom that befell the group as they explored the dark continent. All this thanks to the discarded newspaper that as it tuned out was years out of date. Destiny I should think though perhaps a further sign that something supernatural was afoot. I have collated my notes made at the time. I trust they will be enlightening.
Meticulously kept investigative notes.

Tuesday, 10 July 2012


THE MAW - a sailor’s nightmare

No Enc. (1)
Size: Huge
Alignment: Chaotic
Movement: 60', 120’ swim
Hit Dice: 9
Attacks: 1 (Bite/Spell)
Damage: 4d6 (+ special)
Magic Resistance: 55%
XP: 2,000 + 12/hp

THE MAW is the bane of sailors and terror of coastal communities. A series of luminous antenna draw the eye to the creature’s monstrous form.  Accompanying the creature is a cacophony of confusing sights and sounds. Its huge snaking body is formed from the fevered dreams of the mad. Hundreds of mouths can be seen gasping for air and press through the creature’s ethereal skin. These are the mouths of doomed sailors who perished in the belly of the beast. Their sussurous gasps only adds to the confusion.  THE MAW’s powerful lamprey mouth can breach the hulls of vessels with ease. Lashed to the beast is a barnacle-encrusted bell from a long sunken vessel. It’s discordant tolling, combined with the maddening spectacle, can unhinge even the soundest mind.

Due to its otherworldly composition THE MAW is immune to normal weapons. THE MAW fears and is vulnerable to flame. Those seeing the creature must make a save versus spells or fall under the effect of a confusion spell - see the custom confusion chart below. Those who fall prey to the confusion effect inevitably descend into cannibalistic madness.

Custom Confusion Table
01-10Self hate - Attack self. Preferably with a bladed weapon in a self mutilating frenzy
11-20Must resist - Regains control of self if only for a moment - acts normally
21-50Life is futile - Rants incoherently about the insignificance of man
51-70I’m so hungry - feast on nearest corpse or grapple and bite closest creature
71-00Kill them all! - Attacks nearest creature with murderous intent
This was the end boss for my one page dungeon entry 'Rot Tower'. The beast was sketched out in only the roughest detail in the entry itself. I was thinking along the line of Cthulhu and some weird fantasy - Lamentations of the Flame Princess lines when I wrote 'Rot Tower'. I'll probably post the entry on the blog at some point.

Enlandrin's Folly

'I could use something flammable about now.'  - Gerard one of Enlandrin's webbed warriors

Tshoghha the demon toad. He's mentioned briefly in the story a little latter.

Blodgett gazed moodily into his ale. His decision to let his friend Milgos hold his share of the treasure had been out of character and now had come back to haunt him. He needed plenty of gold to pay for his wizard tuition and so he had hired the best local talent for an immediate expedition into the underworld. His hirelings milled about the bar. First and foremost amongst them was Gerard the grizzled warrior whom Blodgett had ‘liberated’ from the clutches of the mighty sorcerer Enlandrin. Gerard had been Enlandrin’s right hand till Blodgett convinced him to change his tune thanks to a little charm spell. Enlandrin wouldn’t come seeking revenge as the crazed wizard was now deceased.

‘Tell us Elandrin’s Folly again boss. You know the story about how you helped kill the infamous sorcerer.’ Asked Burne, one of the new hires. ‘I once adventured with the West Wood Warriors. That was till they decided they didn’t need me anymore. Threw me on the scrap heap. After all I did for them carrying the torch. A rat even bit me. And what did I get for my troubles eh?’

Blodgett the mage. The kerchief makes him medieval.
Blodgett’s thoughts were interrupted. ‘Yes Burne, I will tell you the tale, if you promise to cease your infernal prattling. I don’t pay you to talk.’ The mage gave a weary sigh before launching into his tale. ‘We had found some priests, foul worshippers of the toad demon Tshoghhha.’ Blodgett’s pronunciation of the word sounded like he was hacking up a great gobbet of phlegm. ‘Whilst putting the miscreants to the sword one of them had a change of heart. The poor blighter begged forgiveness before betraying his master Enlandrin by informing us the wizard’s whereabouts. I suspected a trap but advised that we press on. I had been hording my best spells for the coming conflict.’

‘My good friend Milgos scouted ahead. It wasn’t long before we came upon a chamber full of skeletal undead along with the crazed worshippers of Tshoghhha. Milgos opened and closed a few doors whilst invisible giving away his presence to the cultists. Knowing the game was up our half-orc meat shield stormed into the room.’

Gerard interrupted ‘I don’t like the way you called Ugh a meat shield. Just because he is a fighter doesn’t mean he should be objectified.’

Milgos scoured. ‘Must I be interrupted? I called Ugh a meat shield because he is a half orc and half orcs are stupid slabs of destructive muscle. You hire them for their capacity to take a blow and get in the way of your enemies; hence I call the dullard a meat shield. You met the man; he wasn’t too bright was he? I meant no slight against fighting men in general. If I insulted you then I apologise.’

‘Apology accepted. Do go on with your tale.’ Gerard took a swig of his ale and continued to listen intently. He knew the tale for he had been there, but he still liked hearing it told.

‘The warriors stormed into the room and were met with a hail of arrows fired by skeletal archers and the berserk dagger strikes of chanting cultists. Fang III had its throat opened by a frenzied dagger strike. Ugh was unmoved by his canine companions death. I was later to learn that the brute took pride in the number of canines he could get killed in various dungeons, hence him keeping score via the title Fang I through to III. He and Milgos’ henchwoman Betty waded into the foe chopping the cultists down with methodical precision. I supervised the conflict, saving my magical resources for the showdown that was sure to come. The undead in the room scattered as Jana the hobbit strode in brandishing her holy symbol before her. Betty pressed the cultists into an adjoining corridor. She looked a sight drenched in the blood of a dozen foes. Just as the battle looked won a blast of energy blew apart several doors, stormed down the corridor, fried a cultist and badly scorched Betty. Enlandrin had decided to make his presence felt.’

‘Ooh this is my favourite part. This is the bit where you arrive.’ Said Burke to the warrior Gerard.

‘That’s it I give up!’ Blodgett cried in exasperation. ‘I cannot tell the story if I am to be interrupted at every turn!’

‘Sorry boss. Do go on.’

‘Alright, but only because the tale is nearing the end. Following the bolt of lightning came a trio of warriors, including Gerard who at the time was … um … under a mind-altering enchantment cast by Enlandrin. It was then that I unleashed my pent up power webbing the corridor and preventing Enlandrin’s sell swords from harming us. I must say Gerard did look terribly imposing as he began hewing into the web with his great sword. Our canny foe Enlandrin countered my magic with magic of his own. A great storm of ice was summoned into the chamber, which I had the foresight to avoid by remaining outside the room. Enlandrin had cast indiscriminately however and had injured both friend and foe. Soon it was only Gerard and the as yet hidden Enlandrin opposing us. Seeing the force arrayed against him Gerard sensibly swapped sides. The hobbit, Jana, prayed to her god for intervention and got it in the form of a silence spell. Enlandrin was not to be easily defeated as the wizard, protected by shimmering images, moved outside of the zone of silence. He strode amongst us and unleashed a volley of magic missiles into the chest of the upstart priestess. Jana remained bloodied but standing. Pushing past the pain and through gritted teeth the hobbit once again called upon her god who this time froze Enlandrin in his tracks.' 
Enlandrin prior to his untimely demise.
'At this, the final stage, Milgos, who had been hiding all this time, chose to reveal himself. The rogue appeared in front of the frozen mage and plunged his daggers into the various figments and images that were Enlandrin’s illusionary protection. Each blow saw another figment disappear till there were no more layers. Bereft of protection the mage took a dagger to the face. Thus ended the life of Enlandrin. All there was left to do was loot the place. My good friend Milgos still has my share. I must remember to ask for it one of these days.’

Monday, 9 July 2012

Saved Sorcerers and Apologetic Acolytes

'I'd like some glowing balls.' - Milgos the dungeon scout.

A place by the hearth in Lord Winthrop’s grand hall had been set-aside for the bard. The perfect spot from which to regale the assembled nobility with stories of high adventure.

The troubadour cleared his throat loudly to garner the attention of those nearby. As he rose an expectant hush filled the chamber.

“Lords and Ladies. I bring to you the tale that has recently reached its nasty conclusion. I call it ‘Enlandrin’s Folly’.” Various nobles nodded with familiarity at the name Enlandrin. He had been a wizard of great power who had left the cities arcane guild in a storm of controversy. Rumors of necromantic experiments and devil worship had been vigorously denied by the mages guilds, and yet many felt they held the ring of truth.

“Our tale also involves the West Wood Warriors.”
A noble woman at a nearby table frowned at the name and called out “That name is terrible, surely they do not call themselves that. They sound like unkempt tree hugging vagabonds. They sound like they are in league with the elves.”
The bard looked apologetic. “Alas madam I fear that is the groups moniker. Thus named by a drunken sell sword, for the band had never gone to the trouble of naming themselves. Rest assured what they lack in creative titles they make up for in heroic deeds.”

“Our heroes found themselves returning to the domain of the mage Enlandrin that adjoined the tunnels and warrens of the sprawling local dungeon known as ‘The Darkness Beneath’. Milgos, the group’s scout, had found it hard adjusting to life as a human. His night vision was poor and so he took to carrying around a number of glowing balls to light his way. Milgos would prefer a blade in each hand should the opportunity to stab something arise and so his need to carry shiny balls vexed him. That is until he came up with a cunning plan. He would place a ball on his head. First he would fashion a conical hat and he would place his ball on the pointy end. He could then see where he was creeping and have both hands free for frenzied stabbing.”

"Milgos crept down the dank and dark corridors, his glowing ball shedding the bare minimum of light necessary for him to see and yet not alert the local denizens. Or so Milgos hoped. A call echoed down the tunnels alerting the group to danger. It was the scream of terror followed by the distinct raucous tones of desperate combat. All pretense of stealth abandoned; Milgos sped into a chamber. He was in time to see a rogue be smothered by an ochre jelly. The abominations touch dissolved the poor fools flesh. The single remaining member of the luckless band of adventurers stood in the centre of the room cursing in arcane tongues. Soon missiles of magic filled the air and streaked forth with unerring accuracy peppering the ooze. Milgos recalled from his studies in the mages academy, that such oozes could simply be hacked apart and so he leapt at the creature blade swinging. He was soon joined by Ugh and the pair carved through the jelly like our good Lord Winthrop carves through a desert.”

There was nervous laughter as Lord Winthrop’s guest turned to their host to see how he would take the slight. The noble gave the bard a stern look, a spoon full of custard half way to his mouth “Go on bard but try and leave out future japes at my expense.” Those gathered in the hall breathed a collective sigh of relief.
Lord Winthrop - shamelessly 'borrowed' from a popular novel.
“Beg pardon my Lord.” The bard said before resuming his tale. “And so the mage was saved. He and Milgos traded academic titles each sizing the other up. Blodgett, for that was the mages name, had the audacity to try and hire Milgos and company promising them a 15% share of all treasure found. He was politely refused and was largely fobbed off by the accomplished heroes for his talk did not seem to match his observed ability. Oddly, while the mage was occupied retrieving the items and personal effects of his deceased companions, Milgos felt compelled to enchant the young mages mind. His motive remains unclear though he would later swear that it was for Blodgett’s own safety for a mage so full of himself and yet so obviously lacking in ability, well it would only be a matter of time. The exact reason for Milgos’ enchantment hardly matters, as later in this tale it would prove a sound move and Blodgett, an otherwise insignificant player in the world of sorcerers, would become something of a hero.
The evil high priest at least put in a token effort.
The band set out once more with Blodgett trailing behind.  They skirted a chamber, in which laired a specter of terrifying countenance. Pressing on they sought out tunnels that led south for Milgos had an inkling that Enlandrin’s sanctum lay in that direction. Soon they arrived at a door on the other side of which they heard mumbled conversation and witnessed the flickering of lantern light. Ugh splintered the door with one might kick. Beyond sat a trio of priests deep in their cups while behind them standing at attention were a handful of desiccated zombies. Battle was joined and it was swift and conclusive. The acolytes were soon slumbering thanks to a timely spell; the zombies fled clawing at the door with rotted hands as they were turned by the holy power of the bands cleric Jana. The nefarious high priest at least managed to look threatening. He drew himself up to his full height, raised his staff and shouted ‘SERPENTUS MAXIMUS!’ The staff’s head became that of a poisonous viper. An invisible Milgos then stabbed him in the spine. So ended the battle.

Of the two slumbering acolytes one was put to the sword. Ugh left his hound to worry the corpse and lap up the still warm blood. It seemed his callous streak had not left with the loss of his cursed helmet. The remaining acolyte was woken and put to question. He begged forgiveness and offered up his master’s location in return for his life. ‘To the south.’ The acolyte groveled ‘Enlandrin’s sanctum is to the south. Can I go now? I promise I shall no longer worship demons. I shall be good. You have my word.’ While disgusted at the sniveling on display the heroes were essentially good and saw no reason to murder the acolyte. He was spared and fled. The band took stock of their resources and decided to continue. They knew their prey was close. Enlandrin would not see out this day. But that my friends is a tale for another time. For the hour grows late and my Capuchin monkey is weary from accompanying me with his lute all this time.

Monday, 2 July 2012

Verbeeg - Like cows to the slaughter

Follow the mooing my friends for that way lies our freedom.’ - Osric

A cow. They become important to the story later.
The dockside tavern teemed with people. The troubadour deftly navigated through the crowd till he reached a table upon which he leapt. He then removed his feathered cap that he waved in the air calling “Gather round good people. Come hear the latest exploits of the West Wood Warriors.” Folk looked up from their cups and a crowd quickly gathered eager to hear news.
“Will there be puppets?” asked an old crone. “I like puppets.”
“Alas fair maiden, there shall be no puppets, though my trained capuchin monkey shall accompany the tale with music.” At that the troubadour’s monkey produced a tiny mandolin that it strummed with a tuneless twang.

“The West Wood Warriors had returned Lord Winthrop’s son from the clutches of a saucy Verbeeg shamaness. And yet the slaying of the Verbeeg chieftain had not stopped their raids on our Northern trade routes. The Verbeeg continued to raid feeling safe in their mountain fortress. This would not stand. While the merchants begged the city to act it fell upon our brave heroes to once again venture forth and teach these hulking interlopers a lesson.”

The crowd that had gathered let out a resounding cheer. The exploits of the West Wood Warriors proved popular fodder for the bards of the city. Soon all eyes and ears in the tavern were turned towards the troubadour.

“Once more they ascended the mountain and entered through the entrance concealed by the blasphemous toad idol. Where once moving the malevolent stone toad had proved troublesome, now it was a simple task for Ugh.”
“Why’s that then?” asked the crone. “I heard Ugh aint got much in the way of muscles despite being a son of an orc.”
“It’s true my lady, that Ugh was once considered scrawny but no longer. For he possessed gauntlets of ogre strength, claimed as a reward for the rescue of Lord Winthrop’s son. And so he tossed aside the stone toad idol and descended into the Verbeeg lair.”

“Once again the sneak Milgos crept ahead like a stealthy alley cat. He approached a toad relief inscribed on which was mysterious script which the learned human deciphered with ease.”
“I heard Milgos was an elf. And a dark one at that.” again the crone called out.
“You are behind the times madam. Milgos perished in dragon fire but his soul found a new receptacle in the body of a human. As I was saying the scrawl about the toad relief instructed the reader worship the toad in some fashion, which Milgos did by flicking a coin of considerable worth at the portal. Much to his surprise the coin vanished within the portal never to be seen again, claimed by some dark god. Ugh, known for his impatience, approached the portal and began pushing and kicking it hoping to reveal a secret door. An ominous rumble saw his companions scramble away but not Ugh. The half orc continued to pound the wall till it amazingly vanished! In its place was a torrent of grey murky water that now rushed over Ugh sending him crashing into a shallow chasm. The torrent of water soon eased up and Ugh was fished out from the chasm only to find that he had no recollection of who he was or even why he was there.”
“He was there to fight Verbeeg!” called out the crone.
“Which the band pointed out to their amnesia struck companion. But it was for naught. The warrior was scared and confused and wanted to go home. Osric the half elf struck on the plan to fool the warrior into thinking that they would lead him out ‘back the way they had came.’ When in reality they would lead the fighter deeper into the dungeon.”

“They skirted the terrible room full of beetles both normal and fungal infected. These beetles waged an eternal battle on the walls, floor and ceiling of the chamber. Osric’s surviving war shrews took no interest in the feast before them knowing the insects to be poisonous.”
Shrooms are both sentient and potentially tasty.
 “Later, while Ugh heaved aside a rusted portcullis, the group was assailed by mushroom men. Milgos the wise webbed the fleshy shroom folk in place through eldritch sorceries and the band set about peppering them with arrows. One by one the shroom men fell limp in the web till their leader was all that remained. Here the tale becomes confused as Ugh and Osric both swear that the final shroom offered an arrogant parley, which he relayed through telepathy. As Milgos’ henchwoman Betty had not heard the psychic treaty she continued to pepper the web creature with arrows till Ugh and Osric heard its anguished psionic death scream. Loot was acquired and Ugh had to be dissuaded from consuming the sentient shroom men.”

“While there were many unexplored tunnels the group returned to the area in which they felt the Verbeeg laired. Verbeeg guards soon met them. Once again Milgos tried to convince them of the presence of an invisible deity. These Verbeeg were not to be shaken from their rock worshipping faith and combat soon eventuated. In the narrow confines of the tunnels the Verbeeg countered the bands numbers and inflicted grievous wounds on Betty before falling. The bands priestess, Jana soon had the indomitable warrior woman patched up and ready for more.”

Not long after they chanced upon a lowing sound. Osric recognized it as cattle for he is a ranger and rangers now the call of all animals, cows just so happened to be a really easy to recognise. He relayed this critical information to the party ‘Follow the mooing my friends for that way lies our freedom.’ Ignoring other avenues of exploration the party pressed on towards the sound of cows and was rewarded for in a large hall they found the herd. A grand fireplace dominated the hall. It was shaped like a toad with its maw like hearth merrily blazing away. The toad’s eyes glistened in the firelight and appeared to be valuable gems.

Then there was a hue and cry ‘Thieves! They are stealing our cows!’ Which was rich coming from the Verbeeg seeing as they mercilessly raided the trade routes. Four fur-clad brutes came lumbering from an adjoining chamber and were quickly crushed by the heroes. Ugh then went on to have a rich conversation with the Verbeeg’s hounds but was unable to convince them to accompany him back down the mountain. Milgos saw through the illusion of the toad fireplaces glistening gem eyes. He then determined that the illusion was the trigger to an elaborate crushing trap.”

“Imagine, dear audience, that you were suddenly sealed in a room. Now initially there is plenty of room but you share the space with a herd of nervous cattle. Now imagine that the walls are slowly grinding their way inwards. The cattle become panicked and stampede in the limited space available. You have to begin cutting them down to avoid being trampled. While you do this space becomes more and more limited. Cramped, you struggle in vain to find a way out. But your avarice, your seizing the illusionary gem, has sealed your fate. The walls crash together crushing your bones to jelly, your flesh to paste. We are indeed fortunate dear listeners that our heroes did not trigger this trap.”

“Having inflicted another sound thrashing upon their Verbeeg foes the band set forth down the mountain, for indeed the grand cow hall had served as an entrance to the Verbeeg lair. Our heroes returned once more to our fair city.” And with the tale told the crowd returned to their cups though many a coin found its way into the troubadours feathered cap that the capuchin monkey proffered to the crowd while his master busied himself with a well-deserved ale. 

Citadel Miniatures - Dwarf Lords of Legend

Five Dwarf Lords of Legend. There are three more I don't own... yet.
My miniature binges started when I was teaching. I had these fantastic school holidays and figured I would spend the time painting. I first picked up a brush when I was in year seven. I used oil based Testor paints and the results were suitably dubious.  A stint at GW soon saw my love of miniatures beaten out of me via the dreaded 'painting tax'. Though to be fair GW taught me a lot about painting miniatures. It took a decade post GW for me to once again conisder dipping my toes into painting minis.

With plenty of spare time on my hands I started looking into the figure sets from the 70's. Painting the original Grenadier line for Dungeons and Dragons became a project and over an Christmas break I painted as many of the models as I could glean from e-bay. 

I played a game of 8th edition Warhammer and during the next break put together an Empire army. In another holiday break I put together the Viking army I blogged briefly about.

Now I buy models that look like fun to paint that I might one day use in a game of D&D with tiles and monsters and stuff. An ongoing dungeon project. The Dwarfs below are Citadels 'Dwarf Lords of Legends'. The Perry's sculpted them thus they are detailed, full of character and fun to paint.

Primed grey, metals blacked, and a baddab black ink wash to draw out detail.

Foundry 3 colours flesh done, taking time to paint each model separately.

The Baron

King Gorrin

Lastro Lupintal

Throbin Deatheye