The Legends of Llednevir
"The Elegy of Tarrwen Harbour"
A Solitaire Flintloque Scenario by CJ Hooper
With Additional Material by Craig Andrews
With apologies to Dylan Thomas (again)
Photograph by Craig Andrews
Again in a time long before the forbidden love twixt Goblin and Frog a young boy must face a forest full of malevolent Faeries as he helps Owen the Plod complete a generations old annual ritual to prevent the horror of Centaur Claws descending on Tarrwen Harbour.
“Until I die he will not leave my side”
The lamp flame behind blue glass never faltered,
Safe from the wind and ever present,
Though for years spray and rain
Battered the walls of the Police House.
The light remained constant within its frame,
While the flame burned, the law remained.
This is the home of Owen the Plod, the ever present constable of the law in Tarrwen Harbour, Under Mirkwood. Village folk tell of tell of Owen, craggy faced like the cliffs of Llednevir, and equally as stalwart. Shaped, perhaps, by the years of service but never broken.
This tale begins on one dark Cryptmas Eve, the village was full of cheer, lights were lit, paper chains were strung between the houses across Coronation Street, then re-hung as the rain brought them down time and again. Lanterns were hung in doorways and about the windows, shining upon the garish pink and yellow washed walls of the lowly Tarrwen Harbour homes.
These lights were green, yellow, red and purple. The children danced along the street counting them all.
One young lad was downcast, his mother asked,
“Cariad, why so sad?”
“Mother I cannot see my favourite colour, where is the blue lamp?”
“Son, that is always kept for Owen’s house, his lamp alone is blue.”
“But,” said the observant boy, “Where then is he?”
It started as a murmur, then it rippled, gasps and voiced concerns, the blue lamp of the Police House was missing. Nothing swung in the breeze above the door of Owen the Plod.
Now children, as we know, are wayward and excitable, especially at Cryptmas time. The young boy, as well as the rest of the village, began to search for the blue lamp and for Owen. But the boy was an observant lad, with a quick mind. He’d been told by his grandfather to look up always. So look up he did, at the roofs, gables and even chimneys, looking for the blue lamp. It was between the Todoroni Hall and the fishing sheds he saw it; the glimmer on the headland.
Being observant, also precocious, the young lad set off to see if the light was the missing lamp.
Following the winding path up to the cliff tops he found the blue lamp, and the old policeman, Owen the Plod.
The grizzled lawkeeper was nursing an ankle, swollen to some great size, though not making much noise for his pains.
“Ah, hello lad, you’ve found me at some discomfort it seems. Will you help me get this lamp up to the light house? We have a special job to undertake, as I have done every year, albeit in secret and alone. Seeing as how I’m placed we could need some help too. Run back to the village, fetch Captain Hat and Big Lleu. I’ve never needed help before but I’ve a feeling that tonight will be different. There’s dark work afoot in the valley tonight, Faeries that would stop Cryptmas; fearsome Faeries from under the barrows. They don’t like us celebrating Cryptmas and would seek Winter all year round. You see the more people celebrate Cryptmas here in Taffsea, the less they believe in Faeries. They don’t like it.
Now we need to keep this secret, which is why we may only trust to a blind Todoroni and the village chief. No one else must know. We must get the blue lamp to the light house and wait for midnight. Then a light will be seen in the sky, and a man in a sleigh pulled by reindeer will fly down to meet us by the light house. Then we must help him take all of the presents that he carries down to the village. You know who that man is don’t you boy?”
The boy nodded.
“However,” Owen continued, “Those Faeries may try to stop us, so we need to be careful. They hide out in the woods. We may sneak past, but once the light is in the light house they will come. That is why we need our two friends to help. Now, go boy run down to the village and bring them directly here.”
All of Taffsea is as fearful of the twisted alter ego of the Feather Masked Coachman, Centaur Claws – the harbinger of Cryptmas, as the rest of Valon but luckily they have their own protector of the Season of Goode Will who, bolstered by the extra magicke that seeps out through the Seam of Rominus at this time of year, ensures all good inhabitants of Taffsea get their presents. He is known by many as Jack Chimney. However, Jack doesn’t visit every town. An ancient tradition passed down from generation to generation states a special magickal marker must be placed declaring their town as good otherwise Centaur Claws will visit and wreak havoc.
In this years Llednevir adventure you take on the role of one small boy without whom Cryptmass may be damned.
For this Flintloque adventure I used the excellent Heroic Maps Lostwere Forest. It’s a print and play product available on Wargame Vault. It can be printed out or used in your favourite virtual tabletop software.
The edges of the Murky Wood are a semi-magical place and subject to the whims of both the trees and the Faerie. Before play begins one edge is randomly determined as the village edge with the opposite edge’s paths leading to the lighthouse on the headland. Place a suitable terrain piece in base-to-base contact with the centre of the edge of the map to represent the lighthouse.
Unless otherwise noted all the normal Flintloque rules are used.
There is a time limit for this adventure. Before play begins (and you make the decision on helping Owen the Plod - see below). You must roll 1D10 and add 10 to it, that is the turn when the clocks of Taffsea strike midnight. At that point roll 1D10, in that many additional turns Jack Chimney will pass overhead with the presents for all of Llednevir. The lamp must be lit by then!
Murky Wood, being deep within Taffsea, still holds an air of Wylde Magicke about it. As a result it is is full of many a creature including wandering faerie types, nasty brutish little creatures that do not wish any cheer to be had in Tarrwen Harbour or anywhere else.
At the start of the game randomly place twenty Faerie miniatures randomly on the table. If using the Heroic Maps Lostwere Forest map it’s actually 50 inches by 50 inches do you could simply roll d100/2 twice twenty times.
At the start of each turn each Fairy moves 1D10 cms in a random direction (either use a direction dice or a D12 and the clock method).
If two Faerie tokens touch each other they multiply by two. Each one of the four then moves 1D6 in a random direction. They will not multiply again if they touch other Faerie on the same turn.
Faeries are statted and controlled as Big Cats in Matthew Hartley’s Wilde Thinges article but have 1 wound and individually a melee modifier of 1. However when they attack if there is another faerie within 10cms it is drawn into the combat making it a melee vs multiple opponents with all the normal modifiers.
Should any villager other than the little boy walk within 10 cms of a Faerie token then it is turned over. The little boy only triggers the token if it is 5 cms or nearer. When flipped roll 1D10 and add the number of tiles flipped since the last Faerie appeared, if the result is equal to or lower than the turn number it is a Faerie.
The young boy starts in the middle of the forest with the injured Owen the Plod. He must make his way back to the village edge to collect Captain Hat and Big Lleu.
The little boy uses Goblin stats due to his diminutive size. He is a Raw Civilian.
The player has the choice to help Owen the Plod or to simply take the lamp and move at normal rate. This choice is a balanced one as whilst Owen is slow he is a much better fighter than the little boy.
Owen the Plod / Hobgoblin Veteran / Irregular
Valley Voice / Death of a Boyo
Gammy Leg: Owen’s Movement is reduced to 0 unless being aided. If aided by the little boy he may move 1D10 cms per turn. If aided by Lleu or Hatt he can move 2D10 cms.
All characters count as a section leader for all other characters for the sake of Morale/Activation etc.
Once the little boy is within 5 cms of the village edge of the forest he can call for Captain Hatt and Big Lleu. He rolls 1D10, Big Lleu appears on an odd number over 6 and Captain Hatt on an even number over 6. If accompanied by Owen he can re-roll the dice once if he does not succeed. Before rolling he can also add multiple +1 modifiers to each roll (shouting louder) but this activates a random Faerie within 10cms for each point added. If there isn’t one the nearest Faerie or Faerie Token moves 1D10 cms towards him (one for each point added, one brought closer by the first shout can indeed attack him for the second)…
Once successfully called Big Lleu and/or Captain Hatt enter play next to the little boy.
Captain Hatt / Veteran Large Todoroni / Marine
Boarding Technique / Improved Command (1), Iron Hard, Foul Temper, Milky Eyes
Standard Pistol, Sword
Big Lleu / Hobgoblin Veteran / Irregular
Brawler / Valley Voice / Large Fellow / Death of a Boyo
The Light House
Upon reaching the light house any villager with the lamp must then spend a turn running to the top to signal to Jack Chimney.
As soon as the villager enters the lighthouse All inactive faerie tokens at this point become active and will advance upon the lighthouse.
Once the lamp is hung the game continues until midnight where there are then 1D10 turns until Jack Chimney arrives.
The forces of darkness in this scenario, the Faeries, win if the lamp is extinguished prior to the arrival of Jack Chimney.
For the Townsfolk, victory is the arrival of Jack Chimney and Cryptmas in Llednevir. No faeries need to be killed in the making of this Cryptmas.
Expanding this Adventure
If players wish to have a longer game they may use more villagers from Love and Death in Llednevir and also play out the return of the presents to the village from the Lighthouse. You should add D3 extra Faerie tokens for each additional villager.
The villagers may also opt to seek out the faeries and remove them one by one.
If the extended game is played then the faeries must stop all the presents from reaching Tarrwen Harbour and as such once activated will all target the villagers carrying the presents.
On Cryptmass morn Owen the Plod steps out of the police house, the light is hung in its usual place once more. He lights his briar pipe as the young boy from the night before brings him a mince pie.
“Thank you boy, you have saved Cryptmas, old Jack Chimney himself is very pleased with you and he sent this,” reaching down Owen produces a shiny toy steam engine, the best of all toys, “Time will come lad when you will need to hang that lamp for me, and for all of Llednevir. It’s not just the law that it symbolises but continuity and hope. While there’s a light burning, we all keep our eyes up, forever looking up as you did. Now, lad, I want to say this. You, Samuel, have made me a very proud grandfather. Happy Cryptmas.”
An Orcs in the Webbe Original! "The Elegy of Tarrwen Harbour" was written exclusively for OITW's 2015 Advent Calendar and was first published on the 12th December 2015.
The photograph used in the title image is actually Sandy Haven, a beach a few miles from Milford Haven near the village of Herbrandston where I grew up. It's the beach I always pictured when thinking about CJ's stories in Tarrwen Harbour. The dodo was added with Gimp as she was unavailble on the day the photo was taken.
CJ's Llednevir Chronicles have been a huge success here on Orcs in the Webbe, if you've not read them (or fancy re-reading them, they are rather good) click on the maroon tag below and to the left.