"Mordred's Taste For Bones"
A Flintloque Scenario by Tony Harwood
A group of Goblin Cacadores escorting some Monks and a very precious cargo are approaching the town of Cupa. Unfortunately for them Mordred, Aleksander and Wheeling-Turn all have forces approaching Cupa on that very day. Coincidence?
Many years ago, before the decline of Wylde Magick, most Goblins looked to their clans' shaman for advice in all things; life, death, war, everything. One of the more widely known of these shamans was a zealot by the name of Black Tongue. He was known far and wide as a ‘seer’ and is to this day, many years after his death, revered by all Goblins for what he experienced in his visions. Black Tongue actually foretold of the decline of Wylde Magick and the rise of Black Powder, but few listened back then. After the fall some of his powers waned and others changed, he left his clan and wandered as a hermit for several years encouraging Goblins to forsake the new ways During which time he built up a great following and upon his death his remains were buried in an unmarked hill shrine in Algarvey by his followers as per his wishes.
As the new black powder war raged through the land most of the old ways were forgotten, and the location of the shrine was lost to most. As in any war the ownership of the land changed many times and eventually the deeds ended up in the possession of a rich Elf noble who not knowing exactly who was interred within had all the beautiful contents of the shrine moved to a church in Santa Maria near Zargoz in Northern Catalucia. This is where the remains of Black Tongue lay interred for many years...
After much study and in part thanks the the services of some of the better known treasure hunters of Valon, the Goblins managed to track down the location of the relics and talks to allow them to be brought home began. After weeks of negotiation a group of Algarvey Goblin priests under the protection of the Catalucian church have been allowed to exhume the remains and amid much secrecy, unknown to the general Dark Elf populace, are transporting them back to Algarvey. The Catalucian government is allowing this repatriation to take place as they believe that it will be a prelude to formal re-unification talks between the Goblins and the Dark Elves.
This does not sit well with the leaders of the other nations for a variety of reasons...
Mordred, the Ferach Emperor, is furious and intends to hijack the caravan to secure the remains for himself, thereby scuttling any attempts at a peace settlement. It would also give him a great advantage in any future negotiations with those damned Goblin runts.
Aleksander, the Star Wraith, has heard of Mordred's scheme by way of his spies in the Ferach court. He cannot allow him to gain a bargaining chip which could be used with the Goblins. His plan is a cunning yet simple one. To use his direct influence to raise a regiment of fortified Zombies and have them travel, unseen, from the Frozen Witchlands, through the Ferach Heartland and into Catalucia. Once there to steal the box of bones and return with them to the city of Moskova – all before those fragile undead wither and die!
Art-Tan, the Duke of Wheeling Turn, has also heard of Mordred's plans thanks to the network of his spymaster, Wogan. A formalised agreement between the Dark Elves and the Goblins could help turn the tide of the war in Catalucia. Mordred's plans to steal the relics could ruin any future relations between the two races. An Albion armed escort is out of the question as it would highlight the leaks in the Catalucian information network, something he is keeping a keen eye on in case of any plans that could threaten the Goblin's alliance with Albion. No, a subtler plan would be needed. Perhaps having someone in the area whose hatred of Elves is assured, that would throw a wrench into that Ferach's plans. Now who could he get Wogan to send...
There is no map provided but the table can easily be setup to represent the village of Cupa. It's a small village consisting of three main buildings with some smaller out-buildings and a few small carts. There is a road leading leading from the North-East corner to the South-West corner. A small way South of the town next to the road lies a walled graveyard. The graveyard is shrouded in mist at the start of the scenario.
The casket containing Black Tongue is large but easily carried by two characters (speed reduced to Half Step March) – although you could always use the cart or one of the other carts (that just happen to be laying around in the village). A cart can be pulled by two characters at no movement penalty. Characters transporting the casket in either of these ways cannot perform an attack action. If they are attacked in melee the immediately drop the casket/cart (which can, of course, consequently be grabbed by someone else!)
Pretty much all multi-player scenarios ever written are much more fun if you don't know what the objective of your opponents is. If you plan on playing this scenario with others only read the briefing for the force you are going to play. Having said that the best way to run this large scenario is as an Umpire. If you want to join in the turn by turn fun just assume the role of the Dark Elf faction and let your players play the other factions. There are two factions that must be played, highlighted in blue. There are three extra factions that can be played, highlighted in green. And at the bottom there are two event specific extra briefings, highlighted in purple. All the briefings have been spaced out to avoid reading something you don't want to.
The Goblin Cacadores
This faction must be chosen by one player as the scenario pretty much revolves around them.
You should generate a section of ten Goblin Cacadores using the standard rules in Flintloque: War in Catalucia. The Section Leader of the Goblin's starts the game as a Cowardly Officer. Magicke, Skills, Traits and Flaws should be rolled for as normal. The Cacadores are escorting four Goblins priests, three of which are unarmed Average Irregular Goblins and one, the head priest is a Veteran Irregular Goblin who has the power of Faith (as per the rues in Grapeshotte, p. 90) sadly due to his age he suffers from the flaws Milky Eyes, Bad Knees and Forgetful (Flintloque: War in Catalucia, p. 54). He also carries a black wooden staff.
What a bloody awful mission, stuck guarding a group of mad old buggers and a tatty old crate. You've not been told what is in the crate and frankly you don't care. Hopefully there'll be a tavern in that village up ahead...
Place your squad within 10cm of the North-East corner on the road.
Get the casket and at least two priests off the South-West side of the table, if this occurs at any point during your turn advise the other players that you have in fact won the game !
You control a lightly armed and completely fed-up squad of Goblin Cacadores and four Goblin priests. Your objective is to get the priests and the crate off the opposite table edge to the one you enter from. You have not been told that the casket contains the bones of Black Tongue! You will fight to protect the casket but not with any real enthusiasm. You should favour defending the priests themselves over the crate.
However, the usually secretive priests may, under-pressure, mention that the bones in fact belong to Black Tongue after which point you will fight to the death. This is represented in game by the following rule: if any of the Goblin priests receive a Shaken Token they cry out revealing the nature of the crate's contents. From that point on your commander acts as a Heroic Officer instead of a Cowardly Officer.
The Priests themselves will fight to the death to prevent possession of the crate falling out of their hands. Should the crate be hit by musket fire or in fact are simply touched by an enemy figure all priests must make a Steady Check, a result of <0 to 8 does not result in any Wounds but means they do receive a Shaken Token. As per the normal rules they are okay if they roll 9 or above.
The leading priest is far too old to fight effectively, long ago having had to rely on his staff to even walk but the other three will fight to the death and with some wrath to stop the casket being taken by the enemy as they know what it contains. The old priest is not helpless though, his staff is itself an ancient relic. Known to be part of the gnarled tree that grew above the original shrine of Black Tongue it contains the essence of the long dead Goblins power. As such it enables the priest some small control over Wylde Magicke and can in fact bring the dead back to life ! If at any time you want to activate it you just need to make a special action as part of a normal Fire & Movement phase. Once activated the Umpire will take care of things. If you are playing without an Umpire the effects are fully detailed at the end of this scenario. To make the game more exciting do not read the section about the staff until you have activated it during the game !
The Ferach Voltiguers
This faction must be chosen by one player as they are the main protagonists giving the scenario it's name.
You should generate a section of fifteen Ferach Elf Voltigeurs using the standard rules in Flintloque: War in Catalucia, p.46. Magicke, Skills, Traits and Flaws should be rolled for as normal.
What an 'onor ! You 'ave been 'andpiqued by L'Emperuer Mordred 'eemself to lead thees crack squad of Voltigeurs. Votre mission to track down thee crate of Goblan's reemains and reeturn them to L'Emperuer in Lyonesse.
Place your squad anywhere within 10cm of the west side of the board.
Get the casket off any table edge, if this occurs at any point during your turn advise the other players that you have in fact won the game !
You are under strict orders from Mordred himself not to fail in the capture of the bones. You have been shadowing the Caravan and by coincidence has chosen Cupa as the perfect place for an ambush.
Amusing accents are expected for all words spoken to other players.
This faction is optional. If not chosen by a player it should be controlled using the solo rules in Flintloque - War in Catalucia, p.89 using the Aggressive column of the Solo Aggression Table.
Flintloque Reloaded (2nd Edition) Stats for Sharke, Harpy and his four Rifles can be found on Orcs in the Webbe here they can easily be quickly converted for use with 3rd Edition using Craig's notes at the bottom of the article.
From the Journal of Rekhardt Sharke...
Bloody Wogan and his bloody missions. Probably shouldn't have beaten the old bugger at cards last month. Six sodding days without any bloody thing to do. Checking foraging routes! What kind of a mission was that, the supplies were nearly full when we left. If I didn't know better I'd think that sneaky Bog Orc Bastard had heard something and we're actually heading into god knows what kind of trouble. Ey up, what did I tell you, Harpy's seen a bunch of pointy ears in the distance, just past a small village Arris says is called Cupa. Right then, best bag us some Ferach...
Place your squad anywhere within 10 cm of the East table edge.
Simple really, just kill 10 Ferach Voltigeurs ! If this occurs at any point during your turn advise the other players that you have in fact won the game !
This faction is optional. If not chosen by a player it should be controlled using the solo rules in Flintloque - Death in the Snow, p.90 using the Aggressive column of the Solo Aggression Table.
You should generate a section of eighteen Zombies, one Raw Vampire (Draco) and one KGB Liche (Boris) using the standard rules in Flintloque: Death in the Snow, p.42. Blood Magicke, Skills, Traits and Flaws should be rolled for as normal.
This is your chance to prove yourself ! They say you're not experienced enough, too young to excel ! Well that's not true ! It's not ! It's not ! It's not ! You'll show them ! You'll show them all, MWAAAA HAAAA HAAAA !!
Place your squad within the graveyard.
Get the casket off any table edge, if this occurs at any point during your turn advise the other players that you have in fact won the game !
You have, with the aid of that ungrateful KGB wretch Boris made your way here through Diberia and Finklestein all the way from the frozen Witchlands. Three weeks into the trudge and your once 50 strong Zombie regiment is now down to a fast diminishing 18 zombies. Thankfully Boris sighted the small village of Cupa where the Goblin caravan is due to arrive within the next couple of hours. The success of the whole journey has been due to your brilliance, oh and of course a small part was played by that flag Boris carries. The standard has cloaked your group in a dark mist of cold fog, keeping you hidden and able to travel these great distances. The mist currently shrouds you and your forces in the graveyard out of sight. The Magick is fading fast however, and Boris mentioned when you got here that it can't be moved and it's only through his will that it still works. At the start of each turn roll 1D10 and add the current turn number, if you get a result of 10 or more you should read the section headed "Boris" at the end of this scenario. To make the game more exciting do not read the "Boris" section until you have rolled 10+ !
The Local Dark Elves
This faction is optional. If not chosen by a player it should be controlled using the solo rules in Flintloque - War in Catalucia, p.89 using the Defensive column of the Solo Aggression Table.
You should generate a section of ten Dark Elf Guerrillas using the standard rules in Flintloque: War in Catalucia, p.46. Magicke, Skills, Traits and Flaws should be rolled for as normal.
No steen-keeng green Goblin is going to walk into theese village and leave without a good hammereeng!
You can place your characters in any of the buildings of Cupa. Their starting positions should not be declared to other players. If your building scenery does not have removable roofs then either liase with the Umpire who starts where or alternatively write down on pieces of paper who is in which building and place underneath.
Attack the Goblins when they arrive and kick them out of town. In addition, what is in that wagon – is it worth stealing?
*** End of Player Briefings ***
Boris (For Draco's Player)
When you roll 10+ on the 'Boris' roll read the following aloud to the other players...
Boris, the KGB Liche, turned to face Draco, seething fury in his eyes.
"Zat's it ! You pompous cretin! I have followed you here from Moskova ven I should be doing the great work for the Dark Czar! Well enough is enough! I'll show you! You are useless uneducated Vampire who was only given this job because your mother once laid with the second-cousin of the Wintermores! See how well your command does without a Liche you utter fool!"
Boris immediately leaves your control, summoning the power from the staff he has carried all the way from Moskova he raises his own section of Undead from the Graveyard. There are 25 graves in total, you should use the rules for the Graviski Animator from Grapeshotte, p.80 to see if they become Zombies or Skeletons. As the graveyard is quite old all the Zombies raised this way will be Rotten.
The new section is controlled either by an extra player, the Umpire or using the solo rules in Flintloque - Death in the Snow, p.90 using the Aggressive column of the Solo Aggression Table.
Boris' objective is to get hold of the casket and raise the bones as a powerful Savant skeleton to take back to Aleksander in triumph. If Boris manages to get in base-to-base contact he may as a special action raise Black Tongue. If this happens you should read part of the Staff of Life section below (start where [B] is shown).
On a more immediate note your section is now without a Liche. Treat it as if your Liche has been killed using the rules in Flintloque: Death in the Snow, p. 70.
The Staff of Life
Read the following out loud to the other players when the staff is activated...
Known to be part of the gnarled tree that grew above the original shrine of Black Tongue, the staff contains part of the long dead Goblins power. The staff offers some control over Wilde Magick, it can in fact bring the dead back to life !
There is one of two ways it's probably going to be used in the game. Either you are trying to bring a dead/wounded comrade back to life or you are trying to bring Black Tongue back to life. Both cases have, somewhat unfortunately for all concerned, exactly the same effect.
As we all know when Mordred annulled Wylde Magick all things magical disappeared or became unstable. Sadly the Staff of Life was affected. It does indeed contain within it the power to bring the dead to life but not quite as you would expect...
[B] Upon activation replace the dead figure/chest containing Black Tongue with a figure representing a Manticore ! The eldritch energies have brought the unfortunate back to life but as a corrupted monster controlled by it's instincts alone.
The manticore immediately gets one activation (move, melee and tail fire if a victim in range). After this initial onslaught it activated once per turn before player roll for initiative as per the table.
For Flintloque 3rd Edition the Manticore uses the rules and stats below which are taken from Matthew Hartley's Wilde Things article. The Defence Factor is used as it's Steady rating. The Manticore cannot become Shaken for any reason and counts as two people for Melee purposes.
Defense Factor/Steady ~#~
In addition on any turn which a Manticore gets a "A" (attack) result, it fires its tail spikes at the nearest visible enemy within 10cm, with a 65% chance of hitting with an Impact 6 ranged attack.
A = Attack. Move at run speed towards nearest opponent and engage in melee.
C = Charge. Move at charge speed towards nearest opponent and engage in melee.
H = Halt. Make no movement, defend itself if in melee.
F = Flee. Move at half Charge speed away from opponents. If this is impossible then treat this result as an attack (A) result.
R = Retreat. Move at 75% run speed away from nearest opponents. If this is impossible then treat the result as an attack (A) result.
P = Prowl. Move in a randomly determined direction (roll d12 and use a clock face) at Prowl speed, fight if in melee.
An Orcs in the Webbe Original! "Mordred's Taste for Bones" was written for Flintloque 3rd Edition exclusively for Orcs in the Webbe's 2009 Advent Calendar but sadly due to work commitments I was unable to get it edited and online. Tony was still willing for me to use it this year and it was first published on the 10th December 2010.