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flintloque-logo-304x90Relics, Chapter One

"Escape"

A Flintloque Scenario by Craig Andrews

dracci-by-edward-jackson-colour-mod-portrait

In this, the first adventure of the world changing Relics story arc, a group of Dracci worker caste, unhappy with their Sovereign's rule, must escape the mysterious Dracci lands, across the perilous forbidden marsh. All the while pursued by a vicious Blood Lord hunting party.

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Prologue

When Mordred, Emperor of the Ferach Elves, used the power ring he took from his deposed mother, to annul the laws of Wylde Magic all of the mystical races of Valon were hit hard. None more so than the Dracci, Children of the Dragons. They had lived in a city which since distant time floated in the sky above Valon’s western continents. Without the Wylde Magick of the world to sustain it, it fell. Many miles from the earth when it landed, it left devastation in its wake. It cut a swath out of the ground, hundreds of miles long. Everything in it's path utterly destroyed, the city finally half burying itself in the sea.

The Dracci race suffered many thousands of losses that day and without their Magicke and rituals those that survived soon fell into lawlessness. Realising the city was but a shell without the Magicke that powered it they left the ruins city and departed. The rest of Valon believed they had withdrawn from the world.

They were wrong.

The Dracci found a new home in the furthest reaches of Valon where no-one would find them. For years they existed as a feudal state with countless lords and contested territories. The infighting proved to be nearly as destructive as The Fall had been. Over time, one particular bloodline came to power and united the Dracci and appointed several local Lords. These became known as the Blood Lords, who were in turn ruled over by the eldest of the original line, a ruler known as the Sovereign.

The Dracci have advanced far under the Sovereign’s rule. They are no longer the savage barbarian tribe they once were. A strict caste system developed - the Blood Lords families in power, leading the race in spiritual and military matters and all other Dracci as variations of a worker caste. This clear distinction led to the phrases ‘High Born’ and ‘Low Born’ being adopted by the Dracci themselves.

However, as seen by history, in a strict caste based society, given time, only one thing can be guaranteed; Rebellion.

The newly risen Dracci sovereign, Murg, has been persuaded by his main advisor, a scrye master called Procesh, that it is time to wreak vengeance on the Ferach Elves. That damnable race that cast them down from the heavens, their rightful place. Procesh believes that just as the Power Ring, itself a Dracci artefact the Elves stole in ages past, was used to anul Wylde Magicke that an artefact of similar power could be used to restore Wylde Magicke enabling Murg and the other Blood Lords ascension into fully fledged dragons. If that were to happen the Dracci could assault Alevia (now called Armorica) destroying the Ferach Elves once and for all. To this end Murg has dispatched small contingents of Dracci warriors to search the lands devestated by thier ancient floating city as it fell to the ground and locate any relics of power, including fragments of the Wylde Magicke embued lodestone.  

Not all Dracci think this way, some fear that the ruling warlords would abuse this power and their sought after Dragon forms, leading to a new age for Valon; The Age of Blood. Old enmity runs deep however and even these Dracci would never consider trusting the Elves that annulled their power so long ago, as a result they seek allies elsewhere on Valon.

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Introduction

"We must leave", exclaimed Satule. He cast an eye over the handful of followers, their faces showing concern at his request. All of them Dracci who, like him, feared the course of events their Sovereign seemed to be leading them towards. They had met in the woods outside the capital at one of their cell’s arranged points. "We must leave these isles and seek an alliance, the Orcs or perhaps the Dwarves. If the rumours are true...”

"Rumours!!", cried Jaanen. "You wish us to risk all we have here for rumours?" He met the stares of everyone, his eyes glinting in the darkness. “You know passage through the forbidden marsh would either kill us or get us executed! We lead comfortable lives here, why should we risk all because of your belief the Lords are going to move against us directly?"

Satule shook his head, a look of pity in his eyes. "The Blood Lords have taken Auseth already, once they have questioned him, which they will, they will come for us because of what we know."

"You mean what you suspect Satule. They have no reason to come for us. Most..." he cast a guilty look around at the others, "well, some of us have only helped in minor ways, with leaflets and the like."

One of the smaller Dracci, Torinin, pushed forward. "The cowards amongst us maybe."

Jaanen eyes flared with anger. "Cowards! I’ll skin you for that you damned trader. I do my part, I’m just not a zealot like some of you."

Satule quickly stepped between them, placing a strong scaled hand firmly on each of their chests. "Enough of this! We cannot afford to fight amongst ourselves, especially now!"

Still glaring at Torinin, Jaanen nodded and took a step back. "Satule, we know that the fragments of Lodestone the Lords have been collecting grant those who are trained special powers, that's why we started this movement. But they are not like those from before the Fall. Why should we now believe they are helping the Lords achieve Ascension? None of our kind have Ascended for over a thousand years, these are just rumours, propaganda."

"No. No they are not." He took a deep breath, and pulled out the chain he wore round his neck, as the stone on the end came into view all the Dracci gathered there, including Jaanen, gasped.

“By the Great One! You carry a fragment of Lodestone!"

"Yes", as he held his pendant up Satule’s eyes began to glow slightly. "Which is how I knew for sure the Blood Lords have access, once again, to Wylde Magick. Regaining the gifts our race once took for granted, and it is how I know they are helping Dracci ascend. Watch..."

He stepped out of his robes and turned so those gathered could see his back. Clearly visible were the protuberances where his shoulder blades met, where all members of the Dracci race once carried vestigial wings. But they were not small as they should have been for a Low Born. They were large, fresh scales showing the recent growth.

Jaanen was the first to speak, "It's... it's just not possible."

"Yes it is," replied Satule calmly, almost serene, "and I am merely Low Born with no access to the ancient texts. What do you think is happening to the Lords. Their powers grow stronger every day, what if they are on the first steps of Ascension." He spun round, fear now clearly visible in his intense gaze. "Imagine the destruction they will wreak upon this world if that happens, not just for the these lands but all of Valon."

Jaanen began to shake, "No, its not possible. But this means, you were... Satule, I... I’m so sorry." with that he turned and fled into the darkness.

Satule eyes flared brightly, a look of concern on his scaled face “Jaanen,” he shouted, “Sorry for what?”

Suddenly, as if in answer, roars came from all around them in the darkness and a Jade Dragon’s Maw embedded itself in ground by Satule...

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The Scenario

The Dracci resistance movement has been infiltrated by an agent of the Sovereign. They must escape the mysterious Dracci lands and try to gain support against the Sovereign from the other races of Valon, before the Sovereign and his Blood Lords collect enough Lodestone to achieve Ascension.

The only way to escape the Dracci lands is through the forbidden marsh, this hazardous region is not guarded by the Blood Lords patrols as it’s considered too dangerous for anyone to attempt to escape across. Unseen channels and loathsome creatures inhabit the area, Satule’s escape will not be an easy one, and at their back the Blood Lord Patrol.

The Blood Lords have heard of the insurgents from the traitor Jaanen and set , Procesh, one of their main scrye masters to work in a bid to find out all he could about the group. They know one of the workers is carrying a piece of lodestone, allowing the Dracci’s latent powers to return - something the Blood Lords forbid in mere 'worker caste' Dracci.

Player 1: The Resistance Movement

Satule
Torinin
Clane
Miagep
Druzu
Jaurun

Notes

Full rules for Dracci in Flintloque 3rd Edition can be found here on Orcs in the Webbe. In this scenario, the worker caste of the Dracci, with the exception of Satule, despite being Dracci Warriors do not roll on the Wylde Magicke table. Satule, however, has magical abilities granted him by the fragment of Lodestone he carries. These should be rolled for at the start of the scenario as per the normal rules.

You can use six of the Dracci Warriors pack (95540) to represent the insurgents. They should be armed as per miniature.

Due to the confused nature of the information they received from Jaanen and the visions seen by Procesh, the Blood Lord patrol does not know which of the insurgents Satule is, this should be marked secretly before the game. Only if he uses his Magicke talents does it become clear. If this happens all the Lords should make him their priority.

Goals

Satule must escape off the opposite board edge from that which he enters with as many of his followers as possible.

Player 2: The Blood Lords Hunting Party

Overseer Hukr (Sword)
Natha
Khutu
Sudash (Staff and Lodestone Fragment)

Notes

Overseer Hukr is a Dracci Lord (use 95541-01), the other three are Dracci warriors. They all roll on the Wylde Magicke table as normal. Sudash (who should be represented by the Dracci with the staff and fragment of Lodestone from 95540) is a specialist mage and as such may roll four times in total on the table.

Goals

The Dracci war party must kill Satule and return his fragment of Lodestone to their masters. Upon killing an insurgent they must make a special action searching the body to see if it is the one carrying the Lodestone. The fragment can be carried for no penalty and passed between other characters.

Player 3: The Ferach Border Patrol (Optional)

After a series of humiliating defeats against Sharke and his Rifles, Gautier’s section has been posted to the frontier as border patrol. After yet another tedious day without incident, Gautier and his men have set up camp in an old farmhouse in the centre of a swamp.

Either generate a section using the normal rules or use the example Ferach Elf section from the rulebook.

Player 4: The Albion Scouting Party (Optional)

Froderorcson and a small group of his East Valonian rifles have been sent by Wogan to the frontier to investigate the Ferach movements so close to the old Dracci border. They enter from the opposite table edge to the Dracci. Their main goal is to retrieve either one of the Ferach for interrogation or take the order papers from Gautier himself.

Generate a section of Rifles using the normal rules with Froderorcson as their Section Leader. Full rules for Froderorcson can be found in Alternative Armies' supplement Sharke's Chosen here.

Terrain

Use a 36 inch square playing area. The whole playing area should be covered in pools and decaying trees. Near the centre of the board should be the ruins of an abandoned farmhouse. Within the boundary of the farm the terrain is Clear, the pools are Bogging terrain and the rest of the playing area counts as difficult terrain.

Random Events in the Forbidden Marsh

Each turn when a character moves, halfway through it’s move it must stop, roll 1d10 and consult the table below.

Modifiers

-2 if the character rolling ends their turn within 5cm of any tree/scrub as the roots provide firmer ground.
+X – If the character ends their turn in a pool. X is the number of centimetres away from the edge of the pool they are.
+2 – Dracci Lord – As they are much bigger and heavier than the normal warriors.

1-2: Nothing untoward happens.
3-4: Misstep – The character has chosen a bad path and immediately counts as having entered Bogging terrain. As per the normal rules they may make a further 2cm of movement then stop.
5-6: Swamp Gas – The character has wandered into a pocket of Marsh Gas. Their turn is over and they immediately receive a Shaken Token as they realise the danger they are in. They may not use Magicke or Black Powder weapons, if they do… boom!
7-8: Denizen of the Swamp – Randomly selected a creature from Matthew Hartley’s Wylde Thinges article. It has managed to sneak up on the character and attack. It is controlled by the Wylde Thinges rules for the rest of the scenario.
9-0: All is Lost – The character has run into a section of quicksand, they will be pulled under and drown in D5 turns unless another character spends a special action helping them to get free.

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Webmaster's Notes

This article was written exclusively for Orcs in the Webbe and was first published on the 17th January 2013.

I started writing this a very very long time ago, 2005 in fact. It is what led to my fascination with the Dracci. Mac Coxhead had written a fascinating piece called  "And Thus The Lie is Revelaed", published on the original Flintloque eGroup (now Historcy) way back on the 6th February 2001 (and coming very soon to OITW). It told of the Elves persecution of the Dracci and the origin of Morgana's Power Ring. It sparked my imagination of what the Dracci could be. Flintloque is a fantasy game and the Dracci were a cracking race that was just a little bit different to the others out there, something unique to Flintloque too. They had been rather ignominioulsy killed off in an article in one of the Orcs in the Hills magazines, it made sense, how could Magicke creatures survive after Mordred's annulment of Wylde Magicke, but it didn't sit right with me. So, using Mac's piece as a starting point, I set about creating a five or six part story arc that would bring them back to the World of Valon. In the intervening years we have seen Gavin Syme, lead writer and head of the World of Valon, return to the Dracci with a number of short stories and, in 2010, he even wrote full rules for them to be included in Flintloque 3rd Edition. Since then there have been a few adventures featuring the Dracci in 'modern' Valon.

Well, my plans for the Dracci in 2014 involve them appearing in the Windy Isles as the new villains of the piece. With my first steps in the new Dreadloque series beginning (look for an AAR soon) I thought what better time to dust of this story arc which will see the Dracci return (albeit in very small numbers) to Valon and set the scene for thier appearance in Dreadloque: The New Adventures.

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To see the full range of Dracci adventures on Orcs in the Webbe just click on the Dracci tag below this article.

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