Friday, 3 September 2021

Sector 55 Blues - Prog 15 - What the flute?

Sector 55 Blues is a Judge Dredd Campaign using the Savage Dredd unnofficial Savage Worlds Expansion.  This is an online only game with members from Dragons Keep Roleplay Club.

The Mesa

The Judges ride the construction elevator to an entrance cave carved out by natural forces millenia ago.  Judging by the attempted oppulance of marble floors and abundant synthetic plants, this is clearly the lair of Muldoon.  The unmistakeable "salon aesthetic" harkens back to his previous life and is a way of distancing himself from the unclean realities of live in the Cursed Earth.

4 corridors lead off this grand reception chamber.  To the left a communications centre, to the right a guardroom and kitchen.  The corridor dead ahead ends in a pair of oppulent wooden doors.

The Judges deal swiftly with the mulgoons who defend the comms centre and a platoon of guards.

The Throne Room

Entering through the double doors the Judges come face to face with the two men, Nesbitt, who sits at the foot of a small dais and the other, Muldoon, sitting on an ornate gold painted throne.

Hammer tells them they are under arrest and that they are to be taken back to Mega City One.Muldoon cries "At last.  You don't know how long I've waited to hear those words".

Puzzled the Judges listen to the harrowing tale of how Vidal Muldoon, celebrity hairdresser to the stars, through no fault of his own became tragically marooned in the Cursed Earth and presumed dead.  He spares no details including how Dapper John, one of his more talented stylists rose up in the wake of his dissapearance and assumed control of all his business assets.  He goes on to explain how he discovered and learned to tame the Cursed Earth Hair Beasts with the help of a local named Cross-eyed Jethro and assumed the mantle of Lord Muldoon bringing law and order to the desperate citizens of the cursed Earth. 

Hammer explains that Nesbitt is wanted for heinous crimes that have endangered the lives of millions of citizens and resulted in many deaths.  Muldoon is an accessory to that manslaughter and will face trial.  Muldoon seems unphased and profers his hands awaiting arrest.  

"Perhaps the Chief Justice will be lenient with me once I have dealt with your infestation?" says muldoon brandishing a silver flute.

"Above my paygrade!" says Hammer and slaps him in cuffs.

Nesbitt pulls a stub gun and grabs Muldoon shouting "You aint gonna take me in Mr Polis".  Cully drops to her knees and fires a well aimed GP round through Nesbitt's arm knocking the gun from his hand.

"One more word out of you and it will be your last" she orders.

Escape from the Cursed Earth

Escorting the pair back to the elevator they survey the scenes of chaos below.  Hair beasts of all sizes run amok slaughtering mulgoons and oil rig workers with impunity.  

"That ways a nogo" says Uthred we'll have to go up.

The elevator clunks to a stop and the gate swings open onto the top of the mesa.  A barren windswept plateau from which they can see for at least a hundred miles.

The familiar shape of an enormous flapping black cloud of Rad Birds approaches from the south.  

"Drokk, I hate Rad Birds!" exclaims Teal as the swarm approaches.

Suddenly a pair of piercing lights emerges from the centre of the cloud bursting through like an angelic messenger.  An H-Wagon thunders towards the cliff edge and slews itself in a neat 180 as the cargo ramp descends.

"Judge Ezquerra sent us, Get in!!" shouts the H-Wagon crew member over the howling scream of the turbolifters.

They bundle safely inside and strap themselves into the flight chairs.  The pilot guns the throttles and the ship tears into the sky to safety.

The Aftermath

Muldoon is warmly received by Chief Judge and ably assists the Justice department in rounding up all the hair beasts with recordings from his flute.  Never one to let an opportunity of boutiful protein go to waste the beasts are hurded into Resyk facilities in every sector.  After a week the menace is dealt with and a city wide day of celebration is held.

Chief Judge

The centrepiece of that celebration is an elaborate citizenship ceremony in which Vidal Muldoon is formally reintroduced as a full citizen of Mega City One conveying all rights and responsibilities upon him.

Before the synthi-ink is dry on his paperwork, the Chief Judge arrests Muldoon and charges him with willfull endangerment of the city and the mass slaughter of thousands of innocent civilians in the Cursed Earth.  He is summarily stripped of his citizenship and marched off to the East Wall to be evicted back into the Cursed Earth.

"Let that be a lesson to anyone who thinks that The Law doesn't reach beyond the Great East Wall!!"   

Sector 55 Blues - Prog 14 - Black Gold Mesa

Sector 55 Blues is a Judge Dredd Campaign using the Savage Dredd unnofficial Savage Worlds Expansion.  This is an online only game with members from Dragons Keep Roleplay Club.

The tunnel north is wide enough to comfortably ride in pairs and the judges have a relatively uneventful journey for a bout 50 miles until they reach a tick steel bulkead with a large synthisteel barred gate which is locked.  The tunnel beyond seems roughly hewn from the rock and after a short break whilst they unbar the gates they are once again travelling north but now in single file.  

The powerful lights of the Lawmasters illuminate the tunnel giving them just enough warning when a giant hairbeast rears up and blocks the tunnel.  Hammer blasts a hole through the giant hairy mound and they ride through the gaping wound unimpeded.

Several hours later they near the mouth of the tunnel and look out onto a blasted hellscape.

The Mesa dominates the skyline in the distance surrounded by hundreds of oil pumps and derricks which nod up and down in unison as though they are praying to a giant God.

Black Gold Mesa

To the east of the mesa lies some kind of refinery installation nestled up to the side of the huge mound of rock like a suckling child.  The Judges stay hidden in the tunnel and recce the scene as the night starts to draw in.

Their patience pays off and they establish that there are three groups of mulgoons which appear to be patrolling in a pattern.  A small window of opportunity exists where the eastern most one group is far enough away that they could isolate them and take them out without raising the alarm.  They successfully subdue the guards and strip them of their overalls, tying them up in one of the shacks that sits beside an oil well.  Suitably attired they plan their attack.

Running up the South wall of the Mesa appears to be a construction elevator.  This is their way in, but they need a diversion which will allow them to get across to the elvator.  After much discussion the team finally agree that they will sacrifice one of the lawmasters and send it on a suicide mission to attack the refinery.  A few well placed cyclops blasts should blow the place sky high.  Whilst the mulgoons deal with the inferno the Judges will cross the oil field and ascend the elevator.

The team approach the edge of the oil field and remote pilot the bike in a wide sweeping curve towards the refinery.  The plan goes off without a hitch and the brave little lawmaster dutifuly attacks the refinery blasting left and right until it's batteries are almost drained.  With an almighty roar the refinery explodes into an inferno, a mushroom cloud rising up in the desert like an atomic bomb test.  The lawmaster continues to wheel around like a rodeo horse shooting its cannon at the whitless mulgoons as they rush to put out the refinery fire. Eventually with it's ammo spent it initiates its self destruct sequence making a large crater in the dirt.

The diversion enables the Judges to cross the desert floor dodging one group of panicked mulgoons after another.  As they ascend the elevator they marvel at the destructive capabilities of just one little lawmaster. 

Next Prog ->

Back Issues

Prog 1 - Suits You Sir - Mosh 55 rob Zlooty Slute's Suits You and a body is discovered.

Prog 2 - Hair Today Gone Tomorrow - Rock Dwayneson's apartment and carnage at the Yes-A-Bout

Prog 3 - It's Ugly Out There - Fun and Games at the Ugly Pageant 

Prog 4 - Down, Down, Deeper and Down - Entering the sewers under RESYK

Prog 5 - The Big Wig - Confronting the beast below the city

Prog 6 - Last Orders at The Two Ways Pub - A shootout in Sector 163

Prog 7 - Into the Cursed Earth - Judge Ezquerra orders a manhunt 

Prog 8 - Avast Me Hearties It's the Easter Pirate Kangaroo - Black Ice Kanga 

Prog 9 - Scav City and the Pirate King - A Deal is Made

Prog 10 - On a Road to Nowhere - A mutie farmstead is attacked by Mulgoons.

Prog 11 - Just Some Good Ole Boys - A Gas Station called Nowhere 

Prog 12 - Rad Birds, I Hate Rad Birds! - Absolutely not Stirges, honestly.

Prog 13 - The Lawman Outpost - What secrets await in Outpost 12? 

Thursday, 2 September 2021

Sector 55 Blues - Prog 13 - The Lawman Outpost

Sector 55 Blues is a Judge Dredd Campaign using the Savage Dredd unnofficial Savage Worlds Expansion.  This is an online only game with members from Dragons Keep Roleplay Club.

No Plan Survives Contact With The Enemy

The Judges spend some time observing the mulgoons in the valley below and decide that the best plan of attack is to divide and conquer in a pincer movement.  

Sweeping down from the valley walls they thunder towards the two in two formations catching the mulgoons by surprise.  Judge Teal with Uthred riding pillion fires his cyclops laser at the front of a saloon.  The white hot beam carves the vehicle neatly in two halves like a hot knife through butter.  As the two halves peel away from each other Teal expertly guides his bike through the middle and the Judges pick off the passengers with their lawgivers.  Cully approaches the East side and deals summary justice to a van as it is accelerates towards them.  The Mulgoons are no match for well trained judges and the remaining vehicles are taken out of commission swiftly.

Rounding the 30ft high structure reveals a large 20 foot high blast door in the north wall with a sand scoured and faded number 12 painted in a familiar justice department font.  On the right hand door a small metal panel is etched with an outstretched palm print.  Placing her hand on the panel Judge Cully notices a thin green laser beam shoot out and read the barcode on the underside of her wrist.

A confirmatory bleep and then a few moments later the sounds of whirring and clanking machinery issue from the structure.  Large Synthisteel bolts are withdrawn and the doors begin to crack open.

The interior of the structure is bare with the exception of the large square cargo elevator and numerous gantry cranes and walkways which crisscross the ceiling.  A control podium stands in one corner of the elevator.  Wiping its dusty fascia clean reveals a small cross section map and three subterranean levels:

  • S1: Administration, Medical and Communications
  • S2: Armory, Barracks and Motor Pool
  • S3: Power Room    

Sub Level 1 - The Judges search the floor and find a well stocked medical center but without the customary autodocs and sleeppods that would be a staple feature of a sector house med centre.  In fact this facility looks like it has been abandoned for decades.  They patch themselves up as best they can after their recent encounter with the Rad Birds.

Sub Level 2 - It is clear that this floor has been stripped clean of the most useful pieces of Equipment.  The judges hopes are lifted when in one corner of the motor pool they discover the familiar silhouette of an H-Wagon.  On closer ispection this is but a shell of its former glory having been stripped of all its engines avionics and comms gear.  The Judges find an array of old stub guns and ammunition several bazookas and two flight cases containing mint condition MK1 Lawmasters. Cully takes a shine to one of the bazookas and packs 10 rounds just in case.

Searching the Barracks they discover a series of lockers each assigned to a previous owner going by the array of names etched into their magnetic ID plates.  Inside are vacuum packed bags containing vintage  Judge uniforms.  Noone has been seen wearing the "Ol' bubble dome" helmets in years but their current outfits have seen better days.


Sub Level 3 - The Power Room is filled with a mass of machinery, boilers, generators and water treatment tanks.  A dark service tunnel dominates the north wall and is filled with many pipes and conduits.  It clearly leads somewhere.

Cully and Hammer return to Level 1 to see if they can't ressurect the ancient communications array and get a signal out to someone back home.  The outpost seems to be running on back up power and all non essential systems are off.  

Teal and Uthred descend to Level 3 to see if they can get the power back on.  Uthred's affinity with machines pays off and he determines that the outpost has run low on fuel, in fact the tanks are almost empty.  Despite several attempts to fill the tanks using the control panel, it appears there is a malfunction in a valve.  They trace the pipes that feed the fuel tanks back into the mouth of the tunnel.  proceeding about a hundred metres into the tunnel they discover the valve whose servo appears to have burnt out.  Manually turning the valve gets the gas flowing.  Flush with success they don't notice the three hair beasts creep up on them and attack.

Meanwhile on Level 1, Cully and Hammer have realised that the transmitter power is weak.  The outposts antenna must have been damaged and they resolve to climb up the service shaft onto the roof and see if it can be fixed. Grabbing some basic electrical repair tools they begin the climb.

On the roof is a storm battered antenna mast and a broken satellite dish.  The cables from the comms room enter a junction box at the base of the mast.  The cover is loose and it looks like some small rodent got in here and chewed the cables.  An easy repair for Judge Hammer, but Judge Cully spies a dark cloud approaching from the south.  A flock of angry rad birds, approaching fast.

Teal and Uthred deal with the hairbeasts in short order and return to the relative safety of the power room.  The fuel tank fills to above its minimum mark quickly and they restore the outpost to operational power levels.

On the roof Judge Hammer frantically splices cables as the rad birds approach.  Cully fires a bazooka round into their midst and a firey ball erupts diminishing their number but not enough to deter them and they begin to swoop down.  As Cully begins firing grenade rounds at the swarm, Hammer finishes his repairs and reaches round with an incendiary round.  A white hot ball of phosphor flame catches the leading edge of the swarm and the birds wheel away giving the pair of Judges just enough time to ext the roof and slam the iron access door down as the birds slam into it.  A close call. 

Contact

Reassembling in the comms room the Judges finally manage to get a strong enough signal out to Mega City One using an old morse code unit that probably hasn't seen action in 100 years.  They punch in a request for an H-Wagon and that they have located the suspect at Black Gold Mesa.

A message comes back

 +++ ALERT CODE BLACK ALPHA CITY IN QUARANTINE NO REINFORCEMENTS COMPLETE YOUR MISSION GOOD LUCK +++

The team know that Black Alpha is a city wide threat event and that they are on their own from here.

The only thing they can do is see where that tunnel leads and maybe, just maybe they can get to Black Gold Mesa and find Nesbitt.

Next Prog ->

Back Issues

Prog 1 - Suits You Sir - Mosh 55 rob Zlooty Slute's Suits You and a body is discovered.

Prog 2 - Hair Today Gone Tomorrow - Rock Dwayneson's apartment and carnage at the Yes-A-Bout

Prog 3 - It's Ugly Out There - Fun and Games at the Ugly Pageant 

Prog 4 - Down, Down, Deeper and Down - Entering the sewers under RESYK

Prog 5 - The Big Wig - Confronting the beast below the city

Prog 6 - Last Orders at The Two Ways Pub - A shootout in Sector 163

Prog 7 - Into the Cursed Earth - Judge Ezquerra orders a manhunt 

Prog 8 - Avast Me Hearties It's the Easter Pirate Kangaroo - Black Ice Kanga 

Prog 9 - Scav City and the Pirate King - A Deal is Made

Prog 10 - On a Road to Nowhere - A mutie farmstead is attacked by Mulgoons.

Prog 11 - Just Some Good Ole Boys - A Gas Station called Nowhere 

Prog 12 - Rad Birds, I Hate Rad Birds! - Absolutely not Stirges, honestly.

 

Saturday, 21 August 2021

Sector 55 Blues - Prog 12 - Rad Birds, I Hate Rad Birds!

Sector 55 Blues is a Judge Dredd Campaign using the Savage Dredd unnofficial Savage Worlds Expansion.  This is an online only game with members from Dragons Keep Roleplay Club.

The judges are faced with 4 choices stay at Nowhere and wait for the Ships, Go back to the ships or go to bartertown or to go on their own to the lawman outpost.

Judges decide to leave the mulgoons at Nowhere and head out to the Lawman Outpost.  Against the advice of Uncle Jessie they choose to ride through the night.

Rad Bird Attack

As they thuder northwards in an arrow head formation through the radioactive desert they are suddenly attacked by a swarm of four winged bird like creatures with long beak like proboscis.

A Cursed Earth Rad Bird
A Cursed Earth Rad Bird (Absolutely not a Stirge)

A bird swoops down out of the black sky stabs Judge Hammer in the shoulder.  As he wrestles with the creature he loses control of his lawmaster which veers violently right and crests a small sand dune launching it into the darkeness.  Heading up the formation Judge Uthred is hit in the head by one of the leathery winged creatures which frantically claws at his face.

"Bike Auto!" he shouts as he desperately tries to wrestle with the avian monstrosity.  Judge Teal shoots at the creature and misses planting 3 GP rounds into Uthred's lawmaster.  One bullet hits his bike computer causing the whole machine to grind to a halt.  Judge Cully rides alongside the slowing Lawmaster and clubs the creature with her daystick.

They stop their bikes and for the first time hear the leathery flapping of wings above them and realise that Hammer is missing.  Revving the two remaining bikes into life they U-turn back down the desert road with Uthred riding pillion on Teal's bike.  The wheeltracks of Hammer's bike are easy to find in and they crest the roadside berm to discover Hammer's bike embedded in a sand dune.  Judge Hammer is lying face down in the sand and they can hear a big swarm of rad birds heading in their direction.  Teal and Uthred wrestle the bike out of the dune.  It is pretty beaten up but it starts and is rideable.  Cully administers some first aid and Hammer is revived and immediately grabs his lawgiver.

"Incendiary" he shouts and fires a single round over Cully's shoulder into the night sky.  

A huge fireball erupts illuminating the swarm of rad birds which were circling overhead.  Bits of bird carcasse fall from the sky as the fireball expands.  The birds fly off.

The Judges leave Uthred's bike at the roadside and carry on through the night as best they can.  Hammer's bike would be considered unserviceable in Sector 55, but in the Cursed Earth you have to make do with what you've got.

The Lawman Outpost

By early morning the desert road fades into tarmac and they soon realise that they are riding on a pre-atomic highway.  It is not long before the road comes to an abrubt end on a broken bridge spanning a wide valley.  On the valley floor is their destination, a squat octagonal concrete building with a telecommunications array on its roof.

Surrounding the building are 4 black vehicles emblazoned with the Skull & Scissor motif of Muldoon.


 Next Prog -->

Back Issues

Prog 1 - Suits You Sir - Mosh 55 rob Zlooty Slute's Suits You and a body is discovered.

Prog 2 - Hair Today Gone Tomorrow - Rock Dwayneson's apartment and carnage at the Yes-A-Bout

Prog 3 - It's Ugly Out There - Fun and Games at the Ugly Pageant 

Prog 4 - Down, Down, Deeper and Down - Entering the sewers under RESYK

Prog 5 - The Big Wig - Confronting the beast below the city

Prog 6 - Last Orders at The Two Ways Pub - A shootout in Sector 163

Prog 7 - Into the Cursed Earth - Judge Ezquerra orders a manhunt 

Prog 8 - Avast Me Hearties It's the Easter Pirate Kangaroo - Black Ice Kanga 

Prog 9 - Scav City and the Pirate King - A Deal is Made

Prog 10 - On a Road to Nowhere - A mutie farmstead is attacked by Mulgoons.

Prog 11 - Just Some Good Ole Boys - A Gas Station called Nowhere

Sunday, 25 July 2021

Why a Canonical D&D is the Only Way Forward for WotC

ComicBook.com reported recently that Principal D&D designer Jeremy Crawford offered clarity on the subject of what is canon in the Dungeons and Dragons RPG world.

Crawford said.

"Basically, our stance is that if it has not appeared in a book since 2014 [the year that Dungeons & Dragons' Fifth Edition core rulebooks came out], we don’t consider it canonical for the games."

Typically this got a fractured response from the RPG community who are typically divided into two camps, those who slavishly follow the product/story lines of D&D and everybody else.

Why a D&D Canon is Important to WotC

Wizards of the Coast is a business owned by toy making giant Hasbro.  Dungeons & Dragons is just one of its properties, not the most profitable one but it is the most recognised brand in the Tabletop Role Playing Game (TTRPG) sector.  Each edition of D&D has its own life span.  At the time of writing 5th edition is 7 years old and as with any games system the bulk of its sales will always come initially from the sale of its core rulebooks and as the edition ages these are overtaken by supplemental materials such as adventures, settings, campaigns and other entertainment properties.  

Older gamers like myself have seen this pattern repeat itself over many editions of many games systems.  It's similar to the way that movie and tv franchises like Doctor Who, Star Wars, Star Trek or Battlestar Galactica have been rebooted multiple times over many decades.

The rise in popularity of streamed D&D game channels such as Critical Role or Acquisitions Incorporated has changed the audience dynamic,  For some their only experience of D&D is watching it being played by people on Twitch, YouTube etc.  They passively consume the content in exactly the same way as you would a movie.  It is a story from beginning to end and a history of play emerges which becomes canonized episode by episode.

When this audience wants to begin playing their own sessions their desire is to emulate what they have watched, after all it is their only frame of reference.  WotC needs to take this into account and provide a world and a shared canonical history which they can control in order to feed the various different projects that they have planned for this edition of D&D such as movies, books, TV series and merch, merch, merch. 

It's not personal it's just business - The Godfather
It's not personal it's just business - The Godfather

If WotC D&D is to make more money then they have to sell more than just rule books.  They have to control their universe to make other properties easy to write and to enable their consumption as passive entertainment.  Good luck to them I say.

So why are some people getting upset about this?

Older players might view this as just one more betrayal in a long list where WotC is taking their beloved franchise and turning it into something else entirely.  We've seen this happen across all of the rebooted movie and TV franchises in recent times but I don't think we are going to see the same voracity or backlash in D&D.

But stop, calm down, put down the keyboard and step away from the monitor...

Everyone's D&D Experience is Different.

Playing D&D is not like watching a movie, reading a book or watching a twitch stream of internet celebrities playing a game of D&D.

When we play D&D we do not play the same game, the choices we make during the game change the story and our experience becomes unique.   How the Dungeon Master brings the story to the table, the characters in the adventure, how the rolls go, how players react to events, everything becomes a unique experience.

With the best will in the world, once those books leave the store, WotC has lost all control of how they are used, interpreted, played, written about, podcasted and most importantly experienced.  Your D&D experience is a product of all the choices and decisions made around your table regardless of what the author, designer, WotC or Hasbro might say.

The D&D Expanded Universe (DDEU) vs My Exapanded Universe (MEU)

WotC is carving out it's DDEU so that it can continue to make products for the coming years.  To me this signals that 5e is here to stay for many years.  It wants to homologate these products into a framework of historical canon which helps its many writers and designers to navigate the confusing and inconsistent waters of a property that has existed across many different editions over the last 5 decades. 

Good for them.

My Epanded Universe will continue to beg, borrow and steal it's material from anything which I have read or watched in my 5 decades.  WotC can't police what I'm doing with it's product, it doesn't dictate what can happen in my games, my players do. 

Good for them.

The Only Thing that Matters is Having Fun

The concept of control strikes at the heart of the recent "Culture Wars" that are ongoing in every hobby and every social or political structure at the moment.  The incessant labelling of ist, ism and phobe being bandied about on the cesspool of social justice that is social media (mostly twitter) is a mask worn by those without imagination and creativity. 

These people play the person and not the ball because they cannot win (control) the argument.  The only way to win the argument is to not play the game by their rules.  The recent debacle with the relaunched TSR is a case in point.

What happens in your game, what rules you specify for the alignment or moral choices made by orcs and dark elves or what frameworks you implement to ensure that your games are internally consistent (or wheelchair accessible) are for you and your players to decide.        

WotC and the horde of blue check mark allies can shout all they want and try to define what is and what isn't D&D.  I am not forced to use what WotC is selling to still play D&D, those books walked out of the store many years ago.  If they sell something I like I might buy it.  If they don't I won't.

In summary the only voices I hear are the ones around my table.  If they don't like something they'll tell me.  If they like something, they will be laughing and having fun.

And that my friends, is all that matters.

Sunday, 11 July 2021

Troube in Sommerlisse - Part 5 - The Thrymstone Curse

Trouble in Somerlisse is a Savage Worlds campaign using the Hellfrost setting.  The Games Master is Mark Hamilton and play takes place every Friday night at Dragons Keep Roleplay Club.

Examining the Thrymstone

As the night and the cold draws in Vigo drinks and dances in the firelight casting strange shadows around the room. Athura and the others sit by the fire examining the stone. It is long, flat, icey blue in colour and very, very cold to the touch. Carved upon its flat side are frosttongue runes, just a single word, POISON. 

Poison cursed Thrymstone
 Historians call this is a Thrymstone a creation of the followers of Thrym the God of Frost also known as The Ice King. During the Blizzard War, the Thrympriests used Thrymstones to curse the land and the people as they spread their influence South. Athura surmises that this explains how the quarryfolk of Lier were poisoned, but not why the Ridder’s daughter, Aylsluf shares their affliction. 

Vissarel wonders if those who died at the quarry of the poison became the zombies which attacked them. It sounds plausible but a more learned opinion from some priests would no doubt say that zombies are the bodies of those who have been cursed and occupied by Demons released by Hela.

They retire to sleep their dreams filled with ancient mysteries and a sense of dark foreboding. Athura feels the connection to her Goddess strengthen and she feels as though she is being watched, her actions scrutinised. 

A Return to Somerlisse

Thingol lights a fire and cooks a small breakfast of venison and dried fruit. They need to return to Sommerlisse with haste but he wants to secure the Forge before they leave. They cross the bridge over the small river. Winter is approaching and the river is beginning to freeze. 

They search the forge and find evidence of the work of the quarrymen. Pottery in all stages of production, mostly homeware such as bowls, pots and plates. Some are raw clay others have been fired in the kilns, their lustrous green hues dance in the light.

They find tracks of the goblins who were clearly searching for something, but find none of the foul creatures. Vigo finds a cache of seven gold shields, 

“goblins don’t know where people like to hide their money, but I do” 

he chuckles brandishing his find like a prize. Athura tells him to put it back, it’s owner will need it when he recovers from sickness caused by the curse. Vigo grumbles and makes a show of returning the money to its hiding place whilst deftly transferring it into one of his many hidden pockets.

It is time to head back to Somerlisse and our heroes retrieve their horses from the barn. Vissarel takes the time to milk the goat for the journey. 

They lead their horses out of the quarry on foot and soon leave the rocky section and mount up. As they get on to the road to Somerlisse it is still very cold and with a light snow covering and by mid afternoon they arrive back at Somerlisse. 

The Saviours of Sommerlisse Return 

Athura heads immediately to the infirmary whilst the others had for the warmth and ale of the Copper Kettle Inn.

Vigo is looking for someone to sell his loot to. The last time he was here he thought he saw a couple of Engrosi. He was right and he speaks them out engaging in loud conversation whilst secretly speaking in fingerspeak to arrange a more private liaison where they can talk business.  Thingol has never seen Vigo with his own kind and notices how animated their hands are, it's as if they are having two conversations at the same time. "What a curious folk the little people are" he muses. 

Vigo the Engro

 

Vissarel and Thingol talk to the innkeeper who tells them that the people of Somerlisse had started to give up hope. Their return has really lifted the peoples spirits and their return is the talk of the town. Some have even begun to refer to the four of them as the Somerlisse Saviours.

The Infirmary

When Athura enters the infirmary she is greeted by Ydonia who inspects the Thrymstone. Athura once again tries to appeal to the Goddess to use her as a conduit to heal these people of the sickness but to no avail. 

Runa arrives shortly after and thanks for retrieving the Thrymstone. Now that they know that they are dealing with a thrym curse they can help stabilise the sick. However, the only way to lift the curse is to kill the one that put the curse on the stone. The heroes must find and kill the Thrympriest. 

Athura says that it still doesn’t explain my Aylsluf is sick. She didn’t drink the poisoned water from the well at Lier. Ydonia says that Aylsluf frequently visited her step mother's burial mound in the Somerhlaw Valley perhaps the answer lies there.

Athura returns to the inn. “Our work is not done” she tells her comrades explaining everything that Runa and Ydonia told her. 

Somerhlaw valley lies an hours ride Southeast following a less well travelled path. They leave immediately and ride out with haste.

Among the Burial Mounds 

An hour later they are overlooking a small valley dominated by 20 or so earthen mounds. The paths between the mounds are overgrown with bushes and small trees and there is a gloomy somber feel to the whole place. The people of sommerlisse have abandoned the ancient practice of burying their dead in mounds and this site hasn’t been used for nearly 20 years.

Athura explains that Penfrick's first wife and Aylsluf's mother, died in child birth and it was his second wife Friggyth who raised her as her own. Friggyth died almost 20 years ago and that it is her name which will be carved in the lintel of the tomb.

The heroes move between the mounds searching the lintels for the name Friggyth Skalsunu. they find it on one of the newer mounds. 

In Frosttongue Athura shouts “Servants of Thrym, the Ice King, reveal yourself”.

Athura repeats her cry and Thingol booming voice ads “we are waiting!”

Still no response and so Athura clears her mind and attunes herself to the sounds of the animals whispering a prayer to the goddess. Nothing. Has her Goddess abandoned her? As she ends the prayer she suddenly feels feint and staggers on her feet. 

Vissarel watches Athura intently realising that this is some form of prayer magic and she weaves a spell of mimicry. She calls out to the beasts of the valley, their voices fill her ears and a deer bellows

“undead are near”

Lying in the snow in the doorway of the mound is a Thrymstone. Athura brush the snow off of it revealing a crude flint like knife with traces of a rune for wounds carved into it. 

"Reveal yourself murderer" she cries into the sky.

Vissarel hears the restless chatter of the the birds, "The undead are here" they sqwalk, as they launching themselves into the sky with a cacophany of cawing. 

Hurriedly, the four climb up onto the mound to get to high ground. With the birds and the beasts silent all that can be heard is the cracking of branches.

Something wicked this way comes... 

Sessions

 

Trouble in Somerlisse - Part 4 - Well, Oh Well, Oh Well!!

Trouble in Somerlisse is a Savage Worlds campaign using the Hellfrost setting.  The Games Master is Mark Hamilton and play takes place every Friday night at Dragons Keep Roleplay Club. 

Aftermath of the Goblins

At the Mill, the heroes search the bodies of the 5 dead ice goblins who attacked them. They find several bags of food which have clearly been looted from the barn and six silver shields. They find no new information on why the goblins are here. Thingol decides to check out the level above and cautiously climbs the stairs to the storage area. This has been recently used by the goblins as some sort of camp and there are five bedspaces. Judging by their excreta, they have been here for more than a day, maybe two.

Athura Magnussdottir
A Sister of Mercy


Athura hypothesises that the goblins must be working for whoever killed the ranger, perhaps they are a trap left to waylay any who returned or even an investigating party like themselves. This is too organised for goblins. The prints found at the funeral pyre are too big for goblins, they must be in league with another, possibly a human, maybe even a frost mage judging by the way the ranger was slain.

Vissarel votes to investigate the world and Athura finds a vessel with a stopper to carry a sample of well water.

Athura winds down the bucket which hits the bottom with a thunk. The well is either dry or frozen over. The steads people have left a large rock tied to a rope besides the well for this specific purpose. She drops the stone-on-a-rope into the well to break the ice and it lands with a crack. She hauls it out and it's dry.

Thingol casts 3 firebolts into the well illuminating the sides as they descend. With an echoing boom a hot shockwave of steam bursts forth and immediately turns into pretty snowflakes in the icy air.

Viggo picks himself up out of the snow and Vissarel ties her rope around his waist. Thingol casts a smite spell on the engro's tiny dagger and the blade bursts into flame. "Be quick about it, the flame will not last" the paladin says. Viggo leaps over the edge of the well and disappears from sight. Thingol grabs the rope assisting Thingol. The engro comes to a sudden stop dangling inches above the surface of the water. His mission, although not an impossible one, is to retrieve the bucket.

In the daggers fire he sees that the bucket is trapped under a strangely shaped rock. However, he does not see the huge snake that lives in the bottom of the turnip shaped well chamber. The snake strikes and misses.

Athura grabs the rope and climbs over the low wall wall as Vissarel casts a deflection spell upon her. Vigo strikes at the snake but misses and Thingol is pulled towards the well edge straining with the added weight of both Vigo and Athura. The rope slips in his hands and Viggo splashes into the water.

At that moment three frost zombies burst out of their hiding places in the snow surrounding Thingol and Vissarel. "Sorry Athura '' he sighs and drops the rope needing both hands to unleash a flurry of fire bolts at the zombies. Each hits a separate target but they just are shrugged off. Vissarel responds with her own spell conjuring tiny frozen stars of air which circle the well before slamming into their targets without effect. Digging deep into her reserves she casts again and all three hit their intended targets. The spinning stars decapitate one and slice another zombie's head in twain but the third remains it's cold, evil grin haunting the elf. Thingol strikes the hellfrost with his mace but misses.

ice zombie
An ice zombie

In the well Athura with one foot in the bucket and smacks the snake in the head with a mighty blow from her mace temporarily stunning the beast. Her triumph is very short lived and the snake strikes again, it's bite parried by the Sister of Mercy. A blustering Viggo emerges from the water with and stabs the fiery blade into the soft underbelly. The flaming blade smite is extinguished as viggo repeatedly sinks the dagger into the snake. The quiet darkness is punctuated by the snick,snick,snick of his blade and the creature lets out a death rattle.

The last zombie summons its strength and punches Thingol in the chest, denting his armour and breaking his ribs. Vissarel fashions her bolt in the shape of an air demon which arches into the sky and slams into the zombie crushing its skull.

Panting with exertion, Viggo stands triumphantly atop the snake. "We have to get out of this well before we catch our death" says Sister Athura. "Wait" replies the Engro and thrusts his hand under the water retrieving the oddly shaped rock which he stuffs in the bucket. Thingol shouts "Hold on" and hauls the pair up.

Shivering they rush to a house which has not been raided. Thingol sets a roaring fire in the hearth with his firebolts and the heroes warm themselves. Athura tends to Thingol's wound. Viggo strips off and triumphantly dances in front of the fire as Vissarel conjures air currents which weave between then all.

“Who would have thought getting a bucket of water would be such an adventure”, Thingol mutters.

 

The frozen well
An innocent looking frozen well

Sessions

Trouble in Somerlisse - Part 3 - The Quarry at Lier

Trouble in Somerlisse is a Savage Worlds campaign using the Hellfrost setting. The Games Master is Mark Hamilton and play takes place every Friday night at Dragons Keep Roleplay Club.

Athura Magnusdottir - a healer - Tony
Thingol Chillblane - a paladin - Tony
Vigo - a rogue - Martin
Vissarel - a mage - Kat

The Quarry at Lier

Our heroes have been tasked with a most urgent mission. They must find the source of the poison which afflicted the Ridder's daugter Aylsluf and the quarryfolk of Lier. They don't know how long these people have and the urgency of the mission weighs heavily on their minds. Athura assembles a quick breakfast and they head out.

Passing by the gaol hut they notice that the door is ajar. They rush in to find the orc lying dead on the floor still chained to the post but with his throat slit. Someone has murdered him in the night. 

Thingol states grimly 

"Well that saved me the bother of hunting it down and killing it" 

and casts a knowing glance at Vissarel.  Athura sighs, says a quick prayer to the Goddess Eira and replies "It is done and there is naught we can do but focus ourselves on the task at hand, saving the people of Lier.  We must hurry"

Athura's words kindle a new sense of urgency and they ride out with haste on the snowy path to the quarry.  

It is not long before the path through the hills gets more rocky and they must dismount to lead their horses on foot.  By late morning they crest a hill to find the valley of Lier stretched out before them.

The Quarry at Lier

Searching the Abandoned Quarry  

200 yards outside the stead on the left hand side of the rode lies a small patch of tilled ground which must be where the quarryfolk grow food. The ground is frozen into neat littel rows and furrows but the shape of a dead body is clearly visible in the snow in the snow.

Thingol dismounts and approaches cautiously. He brushes the freshly fallen snow from the body and discovers a man lying face down in the snow, naked from the waist down.

“Thingol what do you see?” Arthura demands. He turns over the body, there are no signs of obvious wounds. his eyes are open and his face contorted in agony. One leg is frozen solid from the mid calf Down. He is missing one leg of his hose, he didn't die of exposure, he died of a sudden extreme exposure to cold.  Searching nearby Vigo find his missing clothes with some money, a travelling bag and a short bow. Vissarel thinks he has been exposed to cold fire, magic quite a powerful frost mage spell or a breath weapon from a hell frost dragon. 

Thingol and Arthura carry the corpse and place it on the large funeral pyre standing just outside of the palisade. Someone had been preparing to burn many dead here judging by the size of the pyre and the many booted prints surrounding it. Despite being covered in last night's snow they are clearly visible and could be from one or more of the quarryfolk, it is hard to say for sure.

The Barn

Vigo and the Vissarel take the horses and investigate the barn inside the pallisade. It contains some livestock, sheep, goats, chickens, sacks of grain and the body of a dead goblin. It has been beaten to death and there is plenty of blood on the ground. The animals keep their distance from the goblin and seem content to munch on spilt grains and straw. As Vissarel ties up the horses, Vigo takes the opportunity to check the dead mans travelling bag. It contains some dried meat, snares and other small items consistent with that of a woodsman trapper or hunter.

The team briefly unites at the barn and share what they have found. The quarry looks deserted and they agree to split up and cover more ground. They need to make this place safe quickly. Thingol and Sister Athura head for the first house just inside the pallisade walls. It has been ransacked by something, probably goblins. They scour the ground floor for evidence of poisoned food and collect some scraps in a sack.  

Vissarel crosses the snow to the second house. She is stopped dead in her tracks by an ice zombie who bursts out of the snow to attack her. It whirls its clawed hands at her but misses and is inceremoniously sliced to pieces by a flurry of air daggers unleashed from her hands with elemental wizardry.

Vigo checked out house number three and finds it is in good order. It has not been ransacked and he spends some time rifling through the owners precious items before uncovering a shard of fired green pot clay. "Didn't someone say this stuff is valuable?" he mutters to himself.

The sounds of conflict bring Athura and Thingol running to Vissarel's aide but as they arrive Vissarel is dusting off the remnants of the snow that showered her when the zombie attacked. She can handle herself well if need be. The Engro is nowhere to be seen.  

The Watermill 

The group approaches the water mill, outside its walls the snow has been disturbed by lots of footprints. Thingol opens the door and is surprised by five goblins who immediately attack. Vissarel kills two with a flurry of air bolts. Athura pushes past the paladin and attacks a third with her mace a solid hit which momentarily shakes the creature. 

Thingol boldly strides straight into the centre of the mill and casts a trio of fire bolts one bolt for each goblin. They all strike their targets but he only succeeds in shaking two of them who recover immediately. Athura brings her mace down on the head of one near her killing it. She apologises to the goddess.  Vissarel lets fly a trio of air stars which wheel around the big frostborne paladin and slam into their targets stunning them.

Thingol attacks the remaining goblins with his warhammer but today luck has abandoned him. Vissarel weaves the elements together into a great spear which shoots across the room impaling the pair of goblins onto one of the mills supporting wooden beams. 

As the magic dissipates they slump to the floor quite dead.

Sessions

Sunday, 4 July 2021

Trouble in Somerlisse - Part 2 - What Ill has Befallen Sommerlisse

Trouble in Somerlisse is a Savage Worlds campaign using the Hellfrost setting. The Games Master is Mark Hamilton and play takes place every Friday at Dragons Keep Roleplay Club.

Athura Magnusdottir - a healer - Tony
Thingol - a paladin - Tony
Vigo - a rogue - Martin
Vissarel - a mage - Kat

The Aftermath of the Bridge Attack

On the bridge which crosses the moat our heroes try to calm the sole surviving and now captured orc. Sister Athura orders the guards to fetch The Ridder. The stunned militiamen look at each other in confusion and run off into the town. They soon return accompanied by a man who announces that he is Oswulf, the Hurscarl.

They drag the bound orc to a well built round hut, which passes for a gaol, and tie him to the central post which supports the roof. Vigo searches the orc and finds 4 silver shields. Oswulf posts a guard and orders "none may enter and if the orc tries to escape... kill it". 

Meeting The Ridder 

The heroes are led to the house of The Ridder and to the Great Hall where the are fed a hearty meal of meat stew and bread. The Ridder, Penrick, enters accompanied by a Taiga Elf who he introduces as Runa a priestess of Eostra the provider of bread.  

Penrick says that the orcs have not been this bold in over 15 years. Vigo presents Runa with the four silver shields. 

They have heard nothing from one of the outlying steads so a rider was sent to visit the Brinya Family and get them to retreat to the safety of the town. 

There was an incident at the quarry at Lear. A number of the miners became sick of a fever and died, those that could fled to Somerlisse where many have become sicker and died. Runa tends them in the infirmary.

The Ridder explains that his own daughter, Alsluf, has come down with a sickness and Runa takes Sister Athura to examine her. Despite the windows to her bedroom being wide open, Alsluf is sweating and feverish. Athura examines her and finds a fresh wound on the falm of her hand which does not appear to be healing. This must be the source of her affliction and is likely to have been inflicted by someone she knows.

The Ridder tells them that he has arranged for lodging at the Copper Kettle Inn and his Huscarl Oswulf will give them any assistance that they need. 

The Interrogation 

With Oswulf leading, they return to the gaol and interrogate the orc. In orcish, Sister Athura promises the orc that no harm will come to him if he tells them what they want to know. He will be released to return to his tribe. It is hard to say if Athura's kindly manner and soothing tongue are more persuasive than the imposing shadow of Thingol Paladin of Kenza which looms over the orc.  

With a grunt, Thingol leaves for the sanctuary of the inn and ale. The thought of aiding an agent of the Hellfrost does not sit well with him and he wrestles with his conscience as he slakes his thirst.

The orc tells them that they were paid to raid the human settlements. He does not know who paid them, he was just told to attack anyone trying to get to the town. The tribe numbers 20 to 30 orcs but he does not know where they will attack next or in what numbers.

Athura opines that attacking the steads is not normal behaviour and the incident at the quarry seems far too coincidental to be such. She suspects that the raids are a diversion and that they should strike out for the quarry in the morning. She tells the orc that he will be escorted out of the town in the morning and he can return to his tribe. The Huscarl tells the guard that he has done a fine job and that he is relieved.

The Copper Kettle Inn  

Retiring to the warmth of the Copper Kettle Inn, the group rest. Athura excuses herself from the party and goes to the infirmary to see if she can be of any use. Vigo tells tall tales to the through out the night to anyone who will listen. He gathers a crowd around him as he tells of Athura the midwife who saved the golden calf. Thingol takes this opportunity to satisfy his religious code which demands that he destroy the orc, as he cannot in good concious allow aid as agent of the Hellfrost. He sneaks out of the inn and heads to the gaol, Vissarel follows him in the shadows.

Athura meets Runa and her assistant at the infirmary. The room is full of people exhibiting the same symptoms as the Ridder's daughter. Examining them she discovers that unlike Alsluf, none show any signs of physical injury and surmises that they have ingested a poison. She tells Runa that whoever poisoned Alsluf is probably here in Somerlisse and possibly travelled with the miners. The Ridder needs to be told and if the poisoner is human then there is some other plan at work. Tomorrow they will ride out for the quarry and try to bring back samples of food and water. If they are lucky they will find the source of the poison and can treat these unfortunate people. She returns to the inn.

The Orc

Thingol approaches the unguarded gaol hut in the darkness and opens the door. The orc is slumped on the floor still tied to the post and asleep. He readies his warhammer raising it over his head to deliver a killing blow when a hand reaches out of the darkness and grasps his arm softly. 

"A quieter approach is necessary on this occasion" whispers Vissarel and she walks around the other side of the post slitting the orcs throat with her dagger. The pair close the door and walk back to the inn confident that the fresh snow fall will cover their tracks.

Thigol Chillbane - Original art by https://www.creativeuncut.com/gallery-38/sf3-human-male-armor.html
Thingol Chillblane - Original art by creativeuncut.com

Sessions

Thursday, 17 June 2021

Trouble in Somerlisse - A Savage Worlds Hellfrost Campaign at Dragons Keep Roleplay Club

Trouble in Somerlisse is a Savage Worlds campaign using the Hellfrost setting. The Games Master is Mark Hamilton and play takes place every Friday at Dragons Keep Roleplay Club.

A Cold Day in Watch Gap Fort

It was a cold day in Autumn when our heroes were summoned before Sword Commander Unrock one of the most respected Hearthknights that manned the 150 strong garrison at Watch Gap Fort.

The fort is nestled in the Ice Barrier Mountains which form the last bastion of defence against the encroaching winter and the spawn of Hellfrost contained within.

Heligioland Map
Heligioland in Rassilon


Our assembled heroes are:

Athura Magnusdottir (Tony) - a Saxa (human) and member of the Sisterhood of Mercy, a reknown healer tasked by her order to bring the Goddess Eira's gift to the folk who eke a living in the winter lowlands of Heligioland.

Vigo (Martin) - An engro of varied and useful talents who has a propensity for getting himself in and out of tight places.

Vissarel Nerinen (Kat) - A Taiga Elf with some mastery of the element of air.

Thigol Chillblane (Tony) - A Frostborn Saxa and Paladin of Kenaz the Lord of Volcanoes. A stoic and fierce warrior dedicated to erradicating the agents of Hellfrost in whatever form they appear.

Commander Unrock revealed that they had received word from fastriders that the town of Somerlisse and its steads had recently been attacked by orcs. The farmers are scared and some have fled their steads to the safety of the town.

The town lies in the Southern Greenpot Hills some 3 days ride from Watch Gap. Its population number some 2,000 with a small militia ill-trained and ill-equipped to deal with an orc incursion. Our mission is to travel to the town and meet with the Ridder Penfrick Scalsooner to find out what is going on.

The Greenpot Hills are craggy and difficult terrain for horses but the ore that is mined there is an important resource of great value to the region which must be protected.

Our heroes set out on what turns out to be an uneventful journey stopping at inns and steads along the way to shelter from the bitter cold night. Winter seems to come earlier every year these days.

Arrival at Somerlisse

On the third day they reach Somerlisse which lies in a shallow valley surrounded on all sides by the Greenpot Hills. As they cross the small moat bridge and begin to enter the protection of the towns stout wooden pallisade walls an arrow thunks into the right guard tower.

They have been followed by a scouting party of 2 orcs and 3 goblins. The fight does not last long and the agents of Hellfrost are slain with the exception of an orc which Thingol successfully wrestled to the ground.

Perhaps it will divulge some useful information if it values its life.

Sessions

Saturday, 5 June 2021

Vintage Miniature - The Chainsaw Warrior

I've blogged before about my passion for collecting boardgames and in particular my mission to collect all of the bookcase format Games Workshop boardgames released in the 1980s.

Chainsaw Warrior is one of those games.

Chainsaw Warrior (1986)
Chainsaw Warrior (1986)
Chainsaw Warrior (1987) is a solo game where the titular character climbs a New York skyscraper fighting off zombies and other evil minions in a race against time to find and destroy the ultimate evil Chaos.

It's peculiar in that the game is dominated by amazing artwork from 2000AD artbot Brett Ewins yet is not a miniatures game and in fact does not have a single pawn in the game.  

However, that didn't mean that Citadel wasted this opportunity and launched a series of Chainsaw Warrior minis for fans of the game which could be bought as a single blister pack - C100.  Exactly how you used them in game was not proscribed, I guess you could use them as a turn marker. 

They also released a Chainsaw Warrior as part of the Talisman Timescape miniature range to accompany the Talisman expansion of the same name.  A masterstroke in marketing to use a massively popular boardgame to shift a metric ton of lead.

Citadel also made 3 bad guy minis directly culled from the card art used in the game.  These were only available as a very limited release and command insane prices on the secondhand market.

Three Bad Guy / Zombie Cards
Three Bad Guy / Zombie Cards

I've had this one mini kicking around since 1987, I must have the other two but only God knows where they are.  At the time I must have been going through a Blanchitsu phase as he was painted white with black checkerboarding all over him.  

You do stupid things when you are young, innocent and influenced by the 'Eavy Metal pages of White Dwarf.

The Myth The Mini

As I recently rescued my copy of Chainsaw Warrior it seemed only fitting to rescue this one mini.  Sadly time had not been kind and he had lost the blade of his Chainsaw.  

The mini has a weird "braced for action" pose which makes him look all hunched over.  

Cling Film to the Rescue!

I scratch built a new chainsaw out of a plastic cling film (saranwrap) cutter blade and some scraps of styrene plastic I recycled from ancient W3C Web Accessibility Initiative business cards.  I knew I would find a use for them one day.

The Chainsaw Warrior
The Chainsaw Warrior - a vintage Citadel miniature from 1987

I consulted the box art and some original painted examples for a muted military olive drab kind of colour scheme.  The chainsaw of course got the defacto hazard stripes and some oil washes to make it stand out as the most important thing in the room.

The only thing left to do now is actually play the game...



Monday, 3 May 2021

Reaper Bones #38 - Harpy

Another Mythical Monster chalked off the list, this time it's a Harpy

Harpy - Julie Guthrie (SKU 77041)

Harpy by Julie Guthrie
Harpy by Julie Guthrie

Julie Guthrie does it again with another wicked sculpt.  The last time I painted a Harpy was 30+ years ago when I painted the one from the Citadel C18 Night Horrors line.  Judging from the mini I believe this might have been sculpted by Aly or Trish Morrison.

Citadel C18 Harpy
Citadel C18 Harpy

You can tell that things have moved on both technically and aestetically in the last 30 years.  This is a much more interesting less cartoony sculpt and doesn't have the classic overblown features or the flattop haircut.  In particular I love the inclusion of the half demonic wings which give this mini a sense of the evil rather than just being some half human half chicken monster.

Harpy Mythology

Probably the most famous Harpy story is that of King Phineas of Thrace who was granted the gift of prophecy by Zeus until he gave away the Gods secret plan. Zeus blinded him and then left him alone on an island but tormented him with Harpies who would steal all the banquet food the Gods left him.  This is most famously depicted in the movie Jason and the Argonauts (1963) where Phineas is played by the second Doctor Who Patrick Troughton.  

Needless to say Jason fights off the Harpies and saves Phineas who then tells them how to pass through the clashing rocks (Symplegedes) further angering the Gods.

Bones Progress

Thursday, 29 April 2021

Sector 55 Blues - Prog 11 - Just Some Good Ole Boys

Sector 55 Blues is a Judge Dredd Campaign using the Savage Dredd unnofficial Savage Worlds Expansion.  This is an online only game with members from Dragons Keep Roleplay Club.

Judges Cully, Hammer Teal and Uhtred clean up the crime scene at the mutie farmstead.  They agree that they need to send a message to the enemy at Black Gold Mesa as if it were from this raiding party.  Without a long distance radio and the right frequency they are out of options.  They decide to return to the land ships and consult with the pirate captains.  


Pirate Ship
Pirate land ships come in all shapes, sizes and colours

Back on board they discuss their predicament with Captain Scurvy Jack and El Diablo.  The ships don't have radios but there is one at the refuelling depot at Nowhere. 

Pirate Law dictates that "You keep what you catch" and so Cully orders the prisoners to be hung from the yard arm untill they crack.  After a couple of hours Bob 211 has had enough and starts to spill the beans.  The Judges learn that :

  1. The mulgoons are all named Bob followed by a number which signifies the order in which they were recruited.

  2. Lord Muldoon personally cuts their hair into a bob a part of their initiation ceremony.

  3. He has hundreds of Bobs and lots more slaves who work the oil field and help farm the hair beasts.

Hammer negotiates with Scurvy Jack to let them run ahead to the provisioning outpost at Nowhere but the pirate captain doesn't trust him to not run with his tail between his legs to Bartertown and raise the alarm with Auntie.

Teal reminds Hammer about the Doobie Brothers incident at Merkel Mansions a few years back when they had to pretend to be Sector Gas Workers inspecting a leak.   

Harmer uses a Birdie Lie detector to convince Scurvy Jack that he is telling the truth.  The Pirate agrees to let the Judges ride out to Nowhere and send their message.

On the Road to Nowhere

They ride through the night for 4 hours with Bobs 365 and 211 riding pillion until they reach the depot at Nowhere.  It's a small run down gas station surrounded by a fortified iron wall and heavy gates.  The Judges are challenged by the guards on the ramparts but they let them in.  Apparently they have been expected.

Nowhere

Uncle Jessie runs Nowhere with about a dozen men.  He is an elderly pirate who wears a battered red baseball cap which reads MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN.  He takes them through to his office where the radio is set up.  He explains that The Pirate King called a few days ago and told him to expect 4 lawmen arriving with the Pinacolado and the Saint Mary.  He was surprised to see them on their own.

Uncle Jessie
Uncle Jessie
Teal explains that they ran into the mulgoons raiding a farmstead and rode ahead to use the radio to stave off a larger war party coming to find the Bobs.  Jessie regularly monitors the mulgoon transmissions and recalls that there was a raiding party operating due East a day or so ago.  

He agrees to contact the Pirate King to ask permission.  Just as Jessie is about to blurt out over the radio that the lawmen have arrived, Hammer stops him.  Realising that these are unencrypted radio transmissions he tells the old man to talk in code.  He tells him to say "code 77" the Justice Department code for "Wally Squad" (undercover Judges) operations.  He assures Jessie that the Pirate King will understand. 

Permission given they contact Black Gold Mesa pretending to be Team Falcon and report in that they are on their way back to base, delayed due to mechanical issues.

Next Prog ->

Back Issues

Prog 1 - Suits You Sir - Mosh 55 rob Zlooty Slute's Suits You and a body is discovered.

Prog 2 - Hair Today Gone Tomorrow - Rock Dwayneson's apartment and carnage at the Yes-A-Bout

Prog 3 - It's Ugly Out There - Fun and Games at the Ugly Pageant 

Prog 4 - Down, Down, Deeper and Down - Entering the sewers under RESYK

Prog 5 - The Big Wig - Confronting the beast below the city

Prog 6 - Last Orders at The Two Ways Pub - A shootout in Sector 163

Prog 7 - Into the Cursed Earth - Judge Ezquerra orders a manhunt 

Prog 8 - Avast Me Hearties It's the Easter Pirate Kangaroo - Black Ice Kanga 

Prog 9 - Scav City and the Pirate King - A Deal is Made

Prog 10 - On a Road to Nowhere - A mutie farmstead is attacked by Mulgoons.

Monday, 26 April 2021

Reaper Bones #37 - Andre Durand, Time Chaser

Let's face it this is as close to a Hellboy mini that you can get without infringing copyright.

Andre Duran, Time Chaser - Bob Ridolfi (SKU 80005)

As soon as I saw this mini there was only one way it was going to get painted.  Thanks Bob you made my day.

Andre Durand (aka Hellboy)
Andre Durand (aka Hellboy)

Bones Progress

Monday, 19 April 2021

Reaper Bones #36 - Anirion, Wood Elf Wizard

Now don't get me wrong I love a mini which is striking some highly dramatic heroic pose, but sometimes you need something that is just a big bag of subtlety.

Like Aragorn when he first meets the hobbits, he is travelling incognito as Strider.  When you are starting out on your path to magical mastery you don't want to be standing out in a crowd attracting attention screaming "look at me I'm a wizard!".  That's where Anirion comes in.

Anirion, Wood Elf Wizard - Bobby Jackson - SKU: 77068

I painted Anirion in shades of grey to accentuate the incognito feel.  only her red hair and blue crystal staff give any hint of colour and I think the combo works well.  My only criticism is that the staff is too thick, it's like she's carrying a small tree.  However, the PVC that the early bones were made in was quite bendy even at this thickness.  Life is a compromise I guess.

Anirion, Wood Elf Wizard
Anirion, Wood Elf Wizard (SKU 77068)

Bones Progress