Waiting for the Kickstarter, we decided to play a small campaign. For player, divided into two factions:
1) Order, Civilization, Alliance - Halodynes & Mortans
2) Chaos, Barbarians, Horde - Banebrood & Skannfyrd
How it ended? Let's read, shall we?
Prelude to War
Rise of the Tyrant Luke the Curly-Haired changed the whole dynamic of politics in Tartovara. With combination of bribery, trickery and brute strength young Reaver warlord managed to unite both Reavers and Beastspawn tribes and move south, both on Mortan and Halodyne border.
Many skirmishes were lost before civilized world realized the scale of the problem. After another bloody battle Legatus Solonius, defender of the Mortan Empire, reached out to his neighbour – Polemarch Boikos of the City-State Rum Ia. Both were mortal enemies, engaged in series of clashes over the year. But also both were pragmatics and realized benefits of alliance. Soon, joint effort stopped the Banebrood at Mortan and Halodyne border. Alliance reinforced it’s positions and waited for reinforcements and opportunity to push forward.
Situation changed yet again with the dawn of the new year. Skannfyrd raiding fleet, commanded by warlord Edel of Ur, crossed the Ar-Gorna See and landed at the back of Banebrood territory. Alliance’s generals decided to let Skannfyrd and Banebrood clash, then attack and push back whoever would remain. But Luke the Curly-Haired showed that he was no ordinary Reaver. Instead of attacking Edel of Ur, Luke drove to his camp under the banner of truce. After long and tough negotiations (including, apparently, heavy drinking and fist fighting) both warlords decided to join their forces, crush the border defences and raid the lands of civilized empires.
The First Blood
With barbarian horde marching towards them, alliance couldn’t hide in fortifications much longer. Both generals decided to perform an preemptive strike on massing barbarian forces. Solonius’ scouts reported on two groups – one consisting of massive Skannfyrd forces, second one of beasts emerging from the woods. Solunius send his veterans of the first century to engage Edel’s raiders. Boikos’ elite Sons of War marched to stop the bests.
Halodyne faced the mixed forces of Ursapine, Gut-Hackers and Reaver Tribesman, led by the dreaded Chimera herself. Despite that, the Temple troops did well on the battlefield. Sons of War died, but their sacrifice wasn’t in vein. Oracle of Achallon managed to clear the remaining Banebrood forces, thus crippling the barbarian reinforces. Due to this first alliance’s victory, no beasts reinforced the horde.
On the other hand, only a handful of Legionnaires from first century returned to Mortan camp. They told the story of how the century was assaulted by band of Kinswords and Chainslayers. Mortan forces managed to destroy the enemy, but elite first century (consisting mostly of Veteran Legionnaires and Pretorians) was annihilated.
What’s really interesting is that, at the same time, a handful of wounded Kinswords got to Edel’s camp and told almost the same story. The Skannfyrd party was assaulted by Mortan troops and managed to destroy them – at the cost of almost everyone’s life.
Hope gained, hope lost
The alliance stopped the horde’s concentration, but paid the heavy price. Their most experienced troops – Sons of War and first century – died in combat. However, with the recent victories, the pressure on the borders was lifted – and alliance could wait for reinforcements. Solonius send a request to send another century from Mortan mainland. Boikos received the support of the local Godquester and her band of Sons of War. Everything seemed under control for the civilized forces.
Edel of Ur received reports about Godquester coming into the battlefield – and more importantly, rallying more and more Halodyne citizens for the cause. Knowing that fresh troops will tip the balance to alliance side, Skannfyrd warlord send one of his raiding party for ambush. Greatly outnumbered, Kinswords relied on their speed and element of surprise.
In the end, all of the Skannfyrd warriors passed to Valhalla. But still, they managed to disrupt Halodyne reinforces. When battle was over, only Godquester still stood, with her Sons of War and newly recruited folks laying dead.
Meanwhile, a small band of Fomorian Gut-Hackers under the command of single Gorelord managed to outmanoeuvre alliance’s defence and push deeply into Mortan territory. In swift and brutal attack, they massacred whole century coming to Solonius’ help.
With reinforces butchered, alliance’s situation started to look dire.
The Final Push
With their enemies crippled Luke the Curly-Haired and Edel of Ur gathered the rest of their forces and personally led them into assault. The only way to stop the barbaric horde was keeping them at the hills, away from plains and roads leading into the cities. But Mortans and Halodynes started to feel the toll of heavy casualties.
Boikos decided to call for Mountain Ogres tribes. Solonius took a more sinister approach. Having no time to wait for another century, he send his Necromagi to previous battlefields, and ordered them to raise as many legionnaires as possible. And so, the brave ogres had to fight alongside undead – a situation that will result in final dissolution of the Mortan-Halodyne alliance.
But for the time being, all four forces met in the final battle.
Barbarians, disorganized as usual, charged straight forward in chaotic manner. Due to skills of Ravager Thorstein a band of Reaver Tribesman managed to take forward positions and quickly overcome the centre of battlefield.
Alliance’s forces formed a straight, organized rank and moved forward – with ogres on left flank, and undead on the right.
End of turn one
Allied battle line
A lone Bloodvarg charged furiously into the ogres. Vile beast managed to kill one of the ogres, but counterattacks left it seriously wounded. Soon after Demarchon finished off the beast.
With ogres engaged in combat, Alliance was at risk of being overwhelmed by barbarian’s charges. To prevent this, Solonius send his undead legions to bind Tribesman in the center.
Undead on the march
Obviously Legio Mortum couldn’t stand a chance against massed enemies – especially when Edel of Ur himself charged into combat. But at least barbarians were stopped right in the middle of the battlefield.
Tribesman and Edel mowing down the undead
After the barbarian’s attack
Focussed on the centre, barbarians didn’t realize the danger from the ogres. Moments after the last undead felt down, brutish charge hit barbarians’ line, mowing down Tribesman and almost killing Edel of Ur!
Ogres’ charge. Skannfyrd warlord was left on 2 health points!
Sadly for civilized forces, the joint effort of Chainslayers, Tyrant Luke the Curly-Haired and cannibalistic instincts of Tribesman managed to kill every single ogre. Demarchon tried to come to an aid, but couldn’t make it in time (failed charge). On right flank, Kinswords engaged another undead unit.
And that how it looked like
Seeing the dire situation, Mortifex tried to unleash his dark magic upon the Skannfyrd barbarians. But, surprisingly, all of his powers left him that day.
Two attacks. I needed a 7. I rerolled 1 into 1…
Soon, the lone Demarchon was charged and easily slayed by the Chainslayer and Reaver Tyrant. Alliance’s right flank ceased to exist.
Once again Mortifex tried to unleash his deadly magic to clear the centre of the battlefield. But once again strength and ancestors left the Mortan mage.
Three attacks. I needed a 6. I rerolled 1 into 1…
Without any serious resistance barbarians pushed forward, reaching Mortan mages.
The final moments
Mortifex was struck down by Edel’s blows.
Necromagus put more of a fight – for briefly moment he was a worthy opponent for Skannfyrd warlord. But when Ravager Thorstein joined the fight, the last of Alliance’s soldier felt down.
Uninterrupted, barbarian forces started pouring into Halodyne and Mortan territory, pillaging, looting, raping and burning everything to the ground…
Commanders. From the left: Edel of Ur, Luke the Curly-Haired, Legate Solonius, Polemarch Boikos
With Mortan and Halodyne forces destroyed, nothing stood in the way of Banebrood and Skannfyrd raids. Whole northern border was engulfed in chaos. Halodyne city of Rum Ia got sacked and burned year after alliance’s defeat.
Luckily for him, Polemarch Boikos was not in the city at the moment. After the defeat, he was accused of treason (for working with Mortans) and desecration (for letting the undead fight alongside his troops). The punishment was an exile.
No one knows what happened to the general after he left Rum Ia. Some say that he went east, to Kassobar, and became a mercenary. Others that he stayed in Tartovara and organized resistance against the invaders. But the truth is still unknown.
Hearing the news of defeat, Lich Emperor send Officio Assasinorium to bring legate Solonius to the capital. Captured and humiliated, Mortan general also was charged with treason and working with enemies of the Empire. His punishment consisted of degradation to the rank of centurion, public execution and reanimation. Now, Solonius serves the Empire again – as a Centurio Mortis, leading the legions of the undead, bided to Magistratum wishes.
It wasn’t long before tensions between victors appeared. Small infightings over the spoils were quickly resolved by Luke and Edel – but the bitterness remained. Mostly because, in their minds, all warriors thought of their allies as lesser beings, not equal partners.
Ironically, sack of Rum Ia was horde’s greatest achievement and greatest failure. Rampaging through the city, barbarians once again turned on each other – and this time it was too much for the warlords to contain it. Barbaric alliance broke down, with each band going their own way. Unallied, they are easier target for civilized empire’s retaliation...