Fals’Krag Session 47 – Trolls, Traps and Teleports

We ended up down three players for the evening, but were more focused on game-play than we often are and the four who came along got a lot of combat and exploration done. A real mix of stuff in this session: trolls, ogre priest, vermin, undead, constructs, strange runes, traps, and treasure. The PC’s took a lot of damage in both HP’s and ability damage, but were careful to heal and back each other up when needed. I’ve done something a bit different with this summary – some maps to give a bigger picture of where the group explored, with areas they didn’t get to erased. (No hints here!)

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Lines/arrows are previous exploration. Red oval is the focus of this session.

2nd Needfest.

Seldrel casts Detect Magic again and sees all the magical auras of the lock are back. He presumes his dispel only negated the magic temporarily. The group makes notes, and will return here if they find or learn something that may help. They move north-west into an unexplored area they have skirted around previously. Approaching a large block with much damage, Lanliss vanishes and goes to look through windows and a door way on the corner of the first building. He sees giant rats, but as he returns to tell the others, the rats emerge, having heard noise outside. Hardaz charges the rats, supported by Bacon and Lanliss. The combat attracts the attention of two trolls from the damaged side of the building. Merxif and Seldrel concentrate fire attacks on one, while Winter shoots the other with arrows. One of the trolls calls for assistance from Vaprak. The rats are quickly beaten, and the group focuses on the trolls. More rats emerge from the corner, and an armour wearing ogre followed by a shimmering bat, strides into the rubble strewn area behind the trolls. The trolls are burned and appear dead, and Lanliss and Hardaz finish the second group of rats. The ogre also calls on Vapraks aid, and gestures as if casting a spell. A thick fog springs up around most of the group. Winter levitates up above the cloud and notes its size. She calls directions out to the others so that they can move out of it easily. Bacon exits the cloud on one side, Merxif on another and Seldrel dispels the fog entirely. Bacon charges into the ruin to attack the ogre, closely followed by Summer. A ten-foot tall statue of Vaprak (god of ogres and trolls) further into the rubble suddenly animates. It leaps off its dais and charges across to attack Bacon, striking him heavily. The ogre backs away and grows larger. As others move up to attack, the statues emits a wave of energy and Lanliss, Hardaz and Summer are slowed. Bacon is unaffected and continued to pummel the things they suspect is a stone golem. The ogre and its bat attack the group, and the golem inflicts considerable damage. The party is happy they had equipped three of their group with golem bane scarabs, allowing them to damage the golem with their weapons. Seldrel casts haste to neutralise the slow effect on the group. Merxif moves in to heal, and the battle turns in the parties favour. They have soon defeated the ogre and destroyed the golem. They dais the golem came from has a secret compartment with gems and scrolls. They scout the chambers around what appears to have been a large temple to Vaprak before most of the ceiling collapsed. There are a few more rooms with giant rats, which also produce some coins. The rooms used by the trolls and ogre also have coins, some gems and jewellery and odd bits of equipment.

Combined image of the battle maps used for the session put together roughly in the correct position. The eastern side is actually slightly further ‘south’ than it should be.

Moving east to the next damaged building, Lanliss spots two more trolls. Hardaz and Bacon move in to attack with him, and Merxif follows. Once the trolls are badly hurt, he uses acid to stop them regenerating. Winter and Seldrel who had stayed back are attacked by small group of stirges. A stirge manages to attach itself to each of them and Winter is paralysed. Seldrel realises that the creatures are undead, and the rest of the party is not close by. He casts a fireball over the stirges, burning himself and Winter but killing nearly all of them. Seldrel is able to finish off the last while the trolls are defeated. A little healing is required. Amid some humanoid corpses and damaged weapons and armour, they recover some silver coins.

Further east the next block of buildings is initially in good condition. Windows and a few doors are visible, all is quiet. Lanliss chooses a central open doorway to investigate. A large hall has some damaged chairs, and a passageway leading out. At first he doesn’t notice the shape standing near a pile of rubble, but as Bacon enters the room they both become aware of the four-armed skeleton that moves forward. While it attacks with four short-swords, it proves not to much tougher than other animated skeletons they have fought. Lanliss continues down the passage, which has three small chambers open along each side. Each holds a short thin pillar of obsidian, with a large rune made from semi-precious stone set into the far wall. As the rest of the group move in to search, they learn that the runes are magical constructs that attack any who enter the room. While Hardaz smashes any construct he can reach, Lanliss and Winter are attacked near the final room by a greater shadow. Lesser shadows attack as the group comes together. Trying to evade and attack the incorporeal undead means more of the runes are activated, and shadows leave half the group seriously weakened. Lanliss and Merxif draw attention of main shadow and they destroy the last of them. Bacon locates and destroys another four-armed skeleton, and then they gather back together for healing. Winter uses much of her magic to restore the groups lost strength. While scouting and finishing off the shadows, Lanliss observed a large insect creature fleeing into a hole in a ruined area close by. A locked door is found near the second skeleton, and beyond it a locked and trapped door. Lanliss disarms the magical trap and the chamber beyond has many scrolls and papers. Most of the documents are damaged and illegible. Some fragments mention temples of Boccob (greater human deity of magic), magical training for scouts, and magical theory. Seldrel also recovers some scrolls with spells that he can use.

North is the last intact part of this triangular block. Lanliss disarms a trap of the locked door, and explores the few rooms of a narrow hall. The doors have an unusual rune on them, and there are a few simple traps and old fragile furniture. Two of the rooms have a dark coloured floor tile with a silver circle and a different rune on the wall next to it. Seldrel detects a teleportation magic. Lanliss tries to activate the first circle, feeling a little uncomfortable, then pain and unconsciousness. Both he and Seldrel also try the second circle, and this time Lanliss disappears. He finds himself on the previous circle. As they try other entrances, they find more trapped rooms and more circles, each with a rune. Lanliss tries activating a circle while thinking of the rune near a previous circle and teleports to it. They decide that the first circle didn’t work because its linked to a circle that is damaged or not present any more. Lanliss triggers and is hurt by a magical trap (spinning blades) in one room, and finds a dead goblin who was previously caught by it. He locates and disarms other traps and they find six teleport circles, each with a different rune and also some small brass tokens in the shape of lightning bolts. One room has a dry humanoid body with good armour and a sword. Searching into the damaged corner of the block reveals similar bodies with useful items and some treasure that were likely killed by the shadows. Continue reading

Fals’Krag Session 46 – Midwinter Ruins

Vermin, undead and two puzzles. The first was worked out pretty quickly – rope through hooks and loops. The second is more complicated. While there was a lot of good discussion and testing of theories, they don’t yet have a solution. Traps in my game are mostly detected/evaded by dice rolls (character skill), but if players don’t pay attention to something already mentioned by me or another player (like spider webs between the difficult terrain) or walk straight into a trapped area without looking around first, then too bad. I like puzzles in my RPG’s that the players have to think about, not just rely on a dice roll to work things out. I may allow a skill check to get a hint, or more detail, but some things can’t be solved by making a roll or casting a spell.

I’ve been having fun with rumours in town recently too. Some aren’t related to the mega-dungeon, but directly to things the players have been doing. A new rumour this session was about elves bringing valuable statues out of the dungeon and taking them to another town to sell. One of the players commented about not remembering the statues. I replied “You were one of them!” (It was a year ago in real-life: Medusa in session 40)

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1st Needfest. Everyone packs up and leaves the mountain. It’s both very cold and wet outside, and they head back to Fals’ford. The rain gets worse after they reach town. Shopping, training and celebration of mid-winter proceeds. [8th Level] Kevelli will stay in town all week, as he has some responsibilities during the festival. Seldrel, Brolith and Merxif trawl a few taverns looking for a halfling they can convince to donate some blood. (There is a rumour in town that an evil halfling pretending to be a priest is offering to heal people but really marking potential targets for sacrifice.) Buying drinks for people eventually gets them a suitably inebriated participant.

2nd: The party heads back to the hold and straight to the Hall of the Gods. They activate the statue of Cryollalee, obtaining a energy protection wand but no blessing for anyone. They return to the cavern and slowly make their way west then south through the ruins. They listen and look into buildings to see if anything has taken over from the morlocks and bugbears that previously used many of the buildings. There are no traces of bodies of anything they killed in the past. Reaching the blocks they had last been exploring, they find no cultist corpses. Lanliss can tell that rooms the cultists had been using have been searched since they left. Anything useful that the group didn’t take is gone. Some rooms they hadn’t entered have been used to grow fungi, moss and vegetables. Other chambers have been sleeping quarters and these too have been searched by someone else. Winter has reported odd noises and sighted movement in the badly damaged building immediately south. Lanliss vanishes to scout and reports the closest chambers empty. One has a grey lichen growing along one wall and Seldrel enters to study it. He determines that the plant is actually ‘Gloom Orb’, and the black growths it produces are beneficial. While he gathers these, he notes an uneven floor and three holes carved in the ceiling. Lanliss returns to examine the floor and ceiling. He finds metal rings in the ceiling holes, a floor that isn’t very thick (suspecting a pit or room below) and two holes in the floor corners with hooks. Lanliss and Seldrel gather rope, which they thread through the rings and anchor to the hooks. Lanliss believes they need to “lift” the hooks to make the floor panel open, but Seldrel isn’t able to exert enough force and Hardaz takes his place.

Bacon enters one of the empty rooms with other exits, and finds some humanoid corpses. All have large chest wounds, and some scraps of brown robes. Merxif confirms that they are indeed dead, and suspects that these are cultists that the giant mosquito creatures have emerged from. They appear to have died a week ago at least. Some normal rats flee Bacon as he looks around the other rooms.

Hardaz and Lanliss’ effort cause a section of the floor to flip into a vertical position revealing a thirty foot deep spiked pit with a rusty ladder and two coffers filled with copper pieces. A search also finds a secret compartment holding a large leather bag that is empty, but magical. Seldrel is convinced they have a bag of holding, and they hope that it isn’t cursed to consume anything they place within. They test it out with the copper coins.

Meanwhile both Bacon and Merxif feel a moment of lethargy, and are attacked by one of the ‘giant mosquitoes’ emerging from the darkness. Bacon strikes it, but in return it stings him and attaches itself. He bursts into action, battering it against the wall and door frame it came through. He succeeds in knocking it unconscious, and is able to detach it. With Merxif using his Deathwatch goggles, Bacon continues to batter the aberration until it is definitely deceased. Bits of bone and body pieces, as well as some more rats are in the back of the rooms. The end of the block is more damaged than solid, and there are many cobwebs. Lanliss warns of both fresh webs and piles of rubble as he sights a few giant spiders amid the collapse. Bacon picks his way carefully in alongside Lanliss to attack a spider. Both Merxif and Winter move to avoid rubble underfoot and find themselves entangled by webs. Hardaz and Seldrel take the long way around the building as more spiders emerge to attack. Bad footing and broken walls make the fight more complicated that usual, but it is soon over with no-one poisoned. Winter breaks free of the webs and assists Merxif out. They clear and burn webs, gathering coins and a golden plate amid the remains of the spiders prey.

The back of the building comes close to the cavern wall and they move along until they find another entrance. A large hall with divisions resembles a barn or animal enclosure. Lanliss moves quickly through a few rooms and calls out what he sees for others to check on – animal skeletons in the stalls, a humanoid skeleton in chainmail, and a tiled room. Seldrel detects magic amid the stalls. Hardaz going for a closer look finds himself surrounded by the ghosts of five large hounds and their angry trainer. He shrugs off most of their chilling attacks, and is quickly backed up by the rest of the party. Once defeated they quickly check for valuables – claiming two magical fire arrows and the chainmail from the trainers skeleton. Some coins are dug up from another stall, and Lanliss has found a locked trapdoor under floor tiles in another room. Lanliss picks the lock, and finds a box with more copper coins. Winter is attacked by a hazy purple figure similar to a shadow. She backs up, doing little damage with her arrows. Hardaz with his ghost-touch axe is again the best to take down the incorporeal undead. Seldrel thinks it was a murk, a shadow-like thing that effects your mind rather than feeding on your strength. They take some time for healing and treasure appraisal, then move on to the unexplored portion of the building. There are some faint noises ahead, and Lanliss sees an animated skeleton and two thin humanoids in adjoining rooms. The group splits in two as they enter and engage, what quickly turns out to be four skeletons, two ghouls and two ghasts. Merxif uses one of his crystal skulls to obliterate the majority of the undead. No-one is paralysed, nor appears to have been infected by disease, and one ghast wears a magical necklace. They are back to the cultist’s shrine now and head north towards the shouting that has been heard on an earlier day.

A small building is little more than a dusty, rubble filled shell. It is searched but doesn’t appear to be worth completely digging out. Noise from the adjacent building is more promising. The structure is less damaged, and holds nearly a dozen ghouls which keep everyone busy as the undead exit from multiple holes in the building walls. Ignoring many rotting limbs, bones, broken weapons and bits of armor, the group gather some silver coins and two gems. A rusty iron-plated door bars entry to the last part of the building. Lanliss takes time to pick the lock, only to find its rusted into place and isn’t opening with the usual encouragement. They have to bring out their portable ram and break it down. Beyond are two rooms filled with very old furniture – chairs, desks, stands, tables, cupboards and chests. Some break as they are examined and opened, due to damage from rot, mould, insects and age. A few pieces of jade inlay, some ivory handles, and a set of silver wind chimes are kept.

Bacon is suspicious about one section of floor. After cleaning the dust away he finds the seams around a large block of stone. He and Lanliss feel that it should move. A metal plate in the centre slides open revealing a hole with metal rings and brass discs. Seldrel detects abjuration, divination and shadow-illusion magic. Bacon and Lanliss look at it from a mechanical perspective and believe it’s a lock with the central portion missing. There is discussion as to what the illusion aspect does and closer examination suggests that what they see is accurate. Seldrel tries to dispel the magic on the mechanism and succeeds; nothing changes. The group thoroughly search the rooms, but find nothing else to give them any ideas of how to open the stone panel or door.

Painting Skaven #3: Assassins and Warlord

Three more skaven. These are all metal single-piece figures produced in 1995 by Citadel (Games Workshop) for Warhammer: #74471/1 Skaven Assassin 1, #74471/3 Skaven Assassin 3 and #74465 “Warlord Queek”.

2021-04-11 Skaven-1

Assassin #1 (L), Assassin #3 (R)

The poses and detail are good. Assassin #3 has poison or something along the end of his blade which I’m not a fan of simply because its over-the-top. I trimmed it a little. I probably could have removed it entirely, but didn’t want to chance taking a chunk out of his leg or tail. In the end I’ve painted it up and had fun with it. Assassin #1 with his two blades makes for a nice rogue or warrior depending on what my game calls for.

2021-04-11 Skaven-2

Warlord Queek came with a large skull-topped “banner” that was to be attached to his back, which I found rather cumbersome. I filled down the stud it fitted on. It could be easily made into a hand-held banner, or a marker, so I might yet find a use for it. (I have a second, smaller banner too. I don’t know what figure it was associated with originally)

2021-04-11 Skaven-3

“Queek” is also quite detailed and took some time making sure I was getting everything done without mucking up something else. There’s all the chainmail, the plate/banded armour and assorted decorations! He has a belt with a satchel, 4 pouches, and horned rat belt buckle, a second rope belt with pouch and skull, gloves, necklace, and decorated weapons! I’d almost finished painting when I wondered about what supported all these pouches, and found that what I thought was part of his armour is a wide belt.

2021-04-11 Skaven-4

This is another submission to Anne’s April Painting Challenge.

 

Long distance miniatures…

I had a very nice surprise when I returned home from a very busy and annoying day at work today – there was a parcel waiting for me from the UK with miniatures!

Last month when sorting out Skaven to paint, I found a number of other figures that I didn’t really have a use for. Throwing them out is always a last resort, something I usually only do if a figure is a damaged or really bad sculpt. I didn’t want to try and sell them on eBay either, where covering postage and dealing with eBay/Paypal’s fees might not really make me any money assuming the figures are something someone might want. I had three squigs and a pair of goblin handlers, and I knew one of the bloggers I follow had painted night goblins. I quick look back soon clarified which of the couple of people my memory suggested.

After a short discussion, and some packaging, they were soon sent to Subadai (The Lost and the Damned) – who conveniently has just got back to painting squigs and night goblins! He offered to send some minis to me. So I now have five undead figures. One matches a set of three skeletons I already have (lower right) and will soon be painted up to go with them. The others look fun to do, and I’m getting ideas for using others. The last few likely join my other unpainted undead for the next time I’m looking for something to paint.

2021-04-07 Minis

This whole idea of swapping minis would be something I’d love to do regularly with the various bloggers I follow online… except that postage charges overseas, even for 100gm of tiny metal figures turns out to be rather expensive. Where once I could have got away with a “letter” my rather flat padded bag was automatically classed as a parcel and cost me nearly four times the letter price. I wouldn’t be surprised if both myself and Subedai spent more on postage now than we had on the figures originally.

I have a dwarf to mail off to Azazel when I can get to the post office, but at least he’s just on the other side of the same city as me!

Still, Subadai – thank you very much for a fun exchange! May we both have more fun painting, and fond memories when we look at these figures in the future.

 

Painting Skaven #2: Clanrats

A dozen plastic skaven. I believe I bought these as a box of 12 in the early 1990’s, but a mate who was also collecting citadel figures at the time thought these came as 6’s, They are single-piece slotta-base figures, all identical. These should be Warhammer 4th edition clanrats, and I have seen some of these with shields. I certainly have a bunch of “skaven” shields that could have been part of this set, but I have neither used them in the past, nor feel like painting them up and gluing them on now. I like them the way they are.

The pose is good, and there is quite a bit of detail with armour, fur, armbands, cap, earring, etc. The clothing detail tends to soften a bit under the cloak/hood, with what I presume to be a belt only being defined along its lower edge. It’s nothing you’d notice unless holding the figure up, and now that its painted, its even less obvious.

I’ve stuck to three colours for clothing, varied to break the set up into three smaller groups. I used antique copper & gold for armbands, silver & bright bronze for ear-rings, mostly just grabbing a figure at random each time. I haven’t really done any highlighting except for some silver on the edge of the blades. (Which I wanted dark – gunmetal, then a good coat of green ink; which isn’t that noticeable in the second image.) My initial ‘wash’ of brown over skin and fur has left the raised portions lighter in colour, and I gave most of them a light dry-brush of flesh over the face and tail. Cloaks and kilts were done with very fluid paint, leaving places (that I would normally highlight) a bit lighter, and then brown/black used to shade depressions and creases in the clothing.

These are also a submission to Anne’s April Painting Challenge, and won’t be the last I’ll have.

My next six skaven are all individual figures. I’ve decided fur colours, but I’m still thinking about cloaks and robes, etc. Since these are all leaders (heroes doesn’t seem the right word, but neither does anti-heroes) I’ll take a bit more time with each.

Painting Skaven #1: Stormvermin

Here’s my first set of skaven finished. Six stormvermin from Citadel 1993 and 1995. I started with these rather than the clanrats. There were less of them, they aren’t all the same and I had a good idea of how I wanted to paint them.

These are all metal figures. While there are two main “poses” here, each of the six is unique. They all have a slightly different weapon, variations in armour, equipment, and heads. Some have chainmail, others small armour plates hanging from their belt. One has a ‘stud’ on his left arm (front far-right) where he should have a shield. I would think that having a shield would make wielding your 8 1/2 foot-long fauchard somewhat awkward, unless it was merely a buckler. (In my game scale, these guys are 5′ high.) I do have some skaven shields, but they look too large. Given some more time I may paint a smaller shield I have to add to the figure.

2021-03-27 Skaven Stv

For D&D/Pathfinder purposes I’m planning to consider all of these to be wielding glaives or glaive-guisarmes. Nomenclature of polearms is a crazy thing, and I’ve spent more than enough time this week trying to get an idea of what each is wielding, but for gaming purposes I need to be able to lump them all together.

If you want a fun look at polearms, watch this video by Lindybeige. Here’s a game from the end of that video: Try to get someone to express an opinion on a historical pole-arm that you made up. Extra points if it has a very silly name.

Painting: Space Marines (Space Crusade)

Here’s my three squads of Space Marines from the Space Crusade board game finally completed. Blood Angels (red), Imperial Fist (yellow) and Ultramarines (blue). I started painting figures from the game about two years ago, getting onto the space marines in October last year.

Each squad has three marines with bolters, one marine with a heavy weapon and a commander. The heavy weapons (assault cannon, missile launcher or plasma gun) and commanders weapons (heavy bolter, bolt pistol & power axe, or power glove & power sword) are interchangeable and I’ve had to do some careful filing to make sure they are less likely to get stuck together and break. (The ones that aren’t already broken that is.) For the images, I’ve made sure that I picked something different for each squad.

The plasma gun is meant to have a bright coppery-gold muzzle, but it looks quite yellow in the image, so I’ll go over it again tomorrow with bright bronze.

The special weapons were very fiddly to paint, and I wasn’t as concerned with spending as much time on them as I did with the marines themselves. As board game pieces, they will all go back into the game box soon. Everything in the box except for the orcs and gretchen have now been painted, and I have no intention of painting them. I started this because some of the pieces I could use in my Gamma World game (and have) and the marines deserve to be done if my friends and I ever decide to play again.

Last, but not least, here’s an orc who should have been painted back in Sept 2018 when I did orcs and goblins. He’s a bit paler than his brethren because he’s apparently been hiding with my skaven for at least a decade. The marines and the orc all qualify for Ann’s March painting challenge – Neglected but not forgotten!

Here’s a group shot of all the Space Crusade pieces that I’ve now painted.

Painting: W.I.P. and preparations

This week I’ve finally gotten back to painting my Space Marines from the Space Crusade board game, about 5 months after I nearly finished the other two squads. Once I do the main painting, which is pretty simple (part of the reason I got bored 5 months ago) I’ll finish off all the heavy weapons, and commander’s weapons. These weapons are all interchangeable, and I’ll need to do a little bit of mucking around to allow them to be swapped without any problems. A few have broken in the past because they fitted together too firmly and didn’t separate happily.

Today I dug through my figure boxes to locate all my skaven. I can clean them up in between painting, and the weather this week is good to take them all out and spray them with undercoat. Oddly enough, there a single orc who must have been abducted a decade or more ago. He can get painted too, and finally returned to his brethren.

The last squad of space marines is the Ultramarines, if the image hasn’t already given that away.

My skaven are: 12 Clanrats, 6 Stormvermin, 2 Assassins, 1 Lord, 1 Priest, 1 Seer, 1 Warlock. That isn’t an army by any stretch, but it was enough to keep my group occupied when we played Warhammer Quest.

I’m tempted to sell the Stormvermin. They don’t interest me greatly, whereas the rest can easily fit into D&D games as were-rats. Then again, I could introduce a variant of were-rats into my mega-dungeon. If I do that, the stormvermin will work as a heavier armoured support to the clanrats.

Hmm.. I think I’ve just decided to keep them all in the last minute of typing. I’ll now find myself stating out all the different figures using Pathfinder rules!

I’m enjoying a week’s leave from work, and painting and D&D planning are the two of the main things I aim to spend time on. Reading would be nice too, if I can find a couple of good books!

 

Late addition: I started cleaning the plastic clanrats and was very pleased at how little there is to do – almost no mold lines. Then I noticed the plastic bit underneath… How long have I had these figures? (Don’t answer that!)

I can’t believe I’ve never noticed this bit before. If I had surely I would have cut it off? Lol.

Fals’Krag Session 45 – No smoking!

It was great having all seven players for this session. Got quite nasty in a couple of fights. The session itself wasn’t long. We’d spent a fair bit of time catching up when everyone arrived, and longer levelling up afterwards.

I was waiting for someone to try and burn the “roiling oil” ooze, and wasn’t disappointed. What I hadn’t expected was the method used: the Brawler with his shirt of immolation hit and grappled it. His shirt bursts into flame if he grapples or is grappled.

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(28th) Lanliss and bacon begin checking the rooms of what has become a shrine to Erynthul. (Evil Oeridean deity of hate, envy, and slaughter.) The two rooms likely used by the cult leaders have hidden gems and coins, while the main rooms with tables and stools provides an assortment of good food and drink. Some small casks of a reasonable ale are claimed and packed away. Most of the corpses have simple weapons and basic leather armour not worth salvage. Moving north along the thinner of the two building sections, they enter the last few badly damaged chambers. Bacon spots a shadowy figure appear within a doorway that appears to be casting a spell. A fireball of dark flame bursts around them all, with Summer and Boris taking the worst damage. The figure retreats and Bacon chases it, but only find an empty room. Lanliss and Seldrel follow, suspecting it has used invisibility. Seldrel fills the room with glitterdust revealing the creature as the rest of the group moves closer. The shadowy winged creature strikes at Lanliss and backs through the wall flying past Merxif and through another wall. The group spread out to check the connecting rooms and split up to look for the creature. Lanliss moves out to an alley and flies up into the room to keep watch. No sign is observed of their target, but a large shiny black ball of ooze exits a nearby section of the building. Lanliss and Hardaz move up, noting the thing smells likes oil. It strikes Lanliss a solid blow that also partly coats him in a nauseating film. Boris charges down the alley and throws himself on the blob. He knocks a chunk out of it and as planned, his shirt immolates, but with an unexpected result! The flame ignites the oily surface of the ooze and there is a explosion that hurts many of the group, while the alley fills with smoke. Winter is disconcerted as she can’t see anything to fire arrows at, and Boris is knocked unconscious. Seldrel has nothing to blow the smoke away and considers using magical cold, but he doesn’t want to hit any of his party. Merxif casts an area heal. The effect works on the ooze as well as everyone else, but it revives Boris giving him and the others a chance to retreat. They have all just taken positions out of the smoke when the ooze bounds out and slams into Hardaz. It doesn’t appear to be any worse for being on fire, and has been doing more damage to them than it’s taken. As the smoke starts to roll over them again, Seldrel floating above directs a cone of frost and puts out the fire. As the smoke clears the battered ooze is subject to everyone else’s attacks. Eventually it is broken up and begins to bubble and sink into the ground. Bacon had been making his way back around the building to rejoin the others and missed most of this, but had heard what sounded to him like a large humanoid cursing in very bad giantish. The shouting continued on and off a few times then stopped entirely.

Seldrel notes the winged shadow watching them from a distance – its also hovering in the air. Bacon sets off in pursuit, but the suspected shadow demon gestures and vanishes. This time Seldrel feels it has teleported.

Bacon notes movement at the end of the alley. Boris moves up and startles some rats, but hears movement in the building behind the wall. Lanliss turns invisible and he and Bacon join Boris. Lanliss observes a path in the dust of rubble through one doorway, and they soon confront three animated skeletons. Two appear to be champions, with swords and breastplate, while the third has cloak and dagger. The latter directs a ray of burning light at the group. Everyone pushes into the room to take down the skeletal mage before it can cast again, then smash the other two skeletons. Some gems and coins are found in a hidden box.

Moving back south around the building there is a doorway flanked by book symbols. Seldrel and Merxif think they aren’t religious. A faint light can be seen at the end of a long hall, and Lanliss and Bacon can hear a faint buzzing noise from nearby. In the dim light of an adjoining room is the body of a bugbear. As Lanliss moves closer, two dark purple rays shoot out and strike him for minor damage. His invisible form is now revealed by a purple glow. As a black wasp emerges from the gloom he strikes at it. It passes him and flies out of the building. It is quickly shot at by Bacon with his crossbow. His screaming bolt misses, but passes close enough to disorientate the creature. Seldrel fires magic missiles at it, and it is then brought down by Winter. The glow on Lanliss fades while Merxif examines the bugbear. Its swollen body is unconscious and they fear it is been implanted with wasp eggs. Seldrel uses fire from a wand to burn the body and the places where the wasp appears to have been building a nest. Bacon, Lanliss and Seldrel make their way into the hall, noting cubicles with damaged or rotted chairs and desks, with lamps fixed above them. In two cubicles, the lamps glow with magical light. Something bites Seldrel, and Lanliss sights a large leech on his shoulder. He scrapes it off with his sword, and Bacon sees two more moving towards the wizard. They are quickly killed and Seldrel realises his last spell for the day has vanished from his mind. The leeches are ‘wizards shackles’, attracted by arcane magic, draining it from wizards they attach themselves to. Only valueless paper scraps and bits of leather are found and the group thinks it worthwhile to return to the crafting halls.

Once back they check on Kevelli’s progress. He needs one more day to finish Hardaz’s new armour, then will return to Falsford. The group decide to rest, and sort out the treasure recovered recently. It is decided that a trip back to town is a good idea so that they can sell off all the stuff they don’t want to keep, and buy some supplies for what is on Seldrel’s list of things to be crafted.

1st Needfest. Once Kevelli is done, they all head in to town. Shopping, training and celebration of mid-winter proceeds. [8th Level]

Painting – Hero Quest “Gargoyle”

This is the last of my Hero Quest figures to see paint, having taken about 30 years. This is the “Gargoyle”, who I’d say was second-rate Balrog given the pose, whip and sword. I think in Warhammer he’s now considered a Bloodthirster.

He hasn’t been touched for perhaps a decade, and now that he’s painted he might actually see use, but not as he was originally meant for. Being completely unlike any fantasy gargoyle, I decided he’d make a good statue. Now that he’s done, he’ll fit right in as a Stone Golem. He’s also an entrant to Ann’s “Neglected but not forgotten” Painting Challenge for March.

As a statue, he’d be a nice terrain piece, and potentially a construct (animated statue). I wanted the look of an old painted statue that hadn’t seen care for a long time, and I feel I’ve right sort of look. (Particularly with the thought that it just might step off the base and attack.)

I’d previously cut away the whip and undercoated the figure when spraying something else. Yesterday I started with a base coat of grey, then painted parts with gold, silver, red and black. After a light coat of brown ink, I stuck him together – breaking the wings in the process. (The head and wings were separate pieces.) I cleaned up the wings, and stuck them on, then took some time to chip, mark and scrape at the figure. Then some more grey to colour the exposed plastic, and fade the coloured detail. The weather has been quite cool this weekend, so there was plenty of time to make sure the paint dried at each step.

Today I’ve done highlighting and basing. Just after I’d sprayed the first coat of varnish, I had the thought that when I’d broken the wings, it would have been best if I’d cut/broken a large chuck of one wing, and positioned that on the base like it had fallen down. I could still do that, but now I’m happy to have it done and want to move on to something else. I could have ‘chipped’ and ‘cracked’ the statue further, and marked the base like stone blocks too, but it’s not a show-piece and I rarely spend that much time and effort on the figures that I really like!

I did try something new with the base today. Yesterday I’d been cutting out the foam insert for a small figure case to properly put away my DungeonQuest heroes, and had read an article on painting statue minis. They’d used bits of the foam as moss. I salvaged some of mine, and tore off a couple of tiny bits. Painted green they make great foliage/moss.

The finished mini is on a 40mm square base, and is 70mm high to the sword tip.

I’m determined to finish my Space Marines next. I’d like to clear the tray before I start filling it up with skaven.