Saturday, 19 May 2018

Narrative Campaign - The War for Galahir

Sea Kindred Engage the Goblin Menace at Galahir - Artist's Rendition.

Welcome to the four-in-one, narrative-gaming bonanza! Too good to be true? Well, that depends on whether or not you were closely following 2017's Edge of the Abyss campaign - if you were, then it's possible you've read some or all of these games already. However, even if that's the case, my brother and I have written some new narrative, an epilogue if you will, to round out what happened with our forces once the campaign drew to a close. Since the three games of our narrative campaign led up to Mantic's Edge of the Abyss, it made sense to bring the games together and post them here.

It may be a while before new instalments/narrative games are put together - we have a couple of projects that will be taking up our attention in the coming months, including a KoW map campaign at our FLGS and the release of Vanguard later in the year - but when we do, we have some big ideas for what will happen next.

As always, thanks for reading. #kowislife

Game 1 - These Trees Will Stand (Opportunity Knocks)

Taken from the memoirs of Prince Ingemon, heir to House Enneiros, describing his participation in the great war commonly referred to as "The Edge of the Abyss Campaign":

It was almost three weeks since the expansion of the Abyss, which had sparked the greatest war of our time. After a long march from Tiriant Dalath, the men and I finally reached our destination. Signs of devastation littered the road to Galahir: looting, refugees, the bodies of indeterminate races piled high and burned. While much of the war's action had naturally centred on events surrounding the Abyss itself, it was the Ardovikian Plain and the surrounding areas that offered a glimpse of its true horror. Communities destroyed, peoples displaced, the inevitable spectre of famine - in short, a microcosm of what the whole of Mantica would suffer, should our Lady's Grand Alliance fail in its task.

As we reached the outskirts of the great forest we were overwhelmed by a smell which I shall not soon forget and, once we reached the trail's peak, a sight that would turn the stomach of any true elf. Rising like a mountain before us, the trees of the forest of Galahir stood beneath a sky shrouded in dark smoke, fuelled by great columns that appeared sporadically along the horizon. The ancient trees of the glades were burning, the forces of evil destroying what they could not take. The men stood frozen, their eyes locked upon the nightmarish vision before them, and I must confess that I did not know what to tell them.

It was the Mage Iólon who spoke up, and restored our courage: "Take heart! All is not lost, behold! The forest resists!" He was pointing to a clearing northeast, where the trees themselves appeared in battle with a seething mass of green.

Goblins.

A horn sounded, and the tree-warriors parted, clearing the way for a group of centaurs to come crashing through. The sight of such noble servants of the Lady restored my senses - and the sight of goblin spears surrounding them set my anger to flame. I raised my voice:

"Soldiers of Therennia Adar, ready yourselves! We rally to the Moon Banner! No matter what, these trees will stand! Now, forward!"

As we approached the battle, I ordered Sergeant Pennor to sound the horn. As I had hoped, we caught the attention of a contingent of the goblin-kind who had been hastily cutting down trees while the battle raged behind them. They formed up under the command of a particularly vicious looking specimen astride a wolf, and in ragged formations, came to meet us.

Battlefield - Hill is height 2, three areas of large trees treated as height 4 impassable.
The field of battle was located in a clearing with a boggy area at its centre. Save for an elevated patch on the left flank, the terrain was flat and dotted with clusters of trees. Some of these clusters, those with the tallest trees, were so densely thicketed as to prove utterly impassable to fighting formations.

Left to Right: Mounted Goblin Biggit, Fleabag Sniffs Troop, Fleabag Riders Regiment with Potion of the Caterpillar, Big Rock Thrower (in woods), Rabble Regiment with Healing Brew, War Trombone, Flaggit with War-bow of Kaba, Spitter Regiment with Piercing Arrow, Sharpsticks Regiment with Blade of Slashing
2x Kindred Archer Troops, Kindred Tallspears Regiment (Moon Shields) with Banner of the Griffin, Prince (Ingemon) with Inspiring Talisman and Sabre-Toothed Pussycat (Orchal), Elven Mage (Iólon) with Lightning, Wind Blast and Zephyr Crown, Kindred Tallspears Regiment (Star Shields) with Sparkstone
I positioned our kindred tallspears to the left, and archers to the right. With the goblin cavalry having disappeared behind the hill on that side, it was important to present the phalanx there, while on the other side whittling away at the advance of their infantry from a distance.

Sniffs take the hill.
On the hill to our left the foul goblin cavalry appeared. They came at us arranged in formation so that their heavy hitters (such as they were) had their approach screened by missile cavalry. From their vantage point, these goblin sniffs were able to cast their arrows among our ranks. Although some found their mark, the men held firm. A great rock was hurled from among the woods towards our line, but sailed clear overhead. To the right of the field, our archers began to receive missile fire from the goblin line. Ducking and weaving with the grace common to our people, they were unfazed, and readied a volley of their own.

Elf formation advances cautiously.
Our line of phalanx advanced slowly, content to let the enemy impale themselves upon elven steel. From the Mage Iólon's hand leapt a flash of lightning, tearing up the hill over which the goblins rode. A battle craze filled their minds however, and it was clear that more would be required to dissuade their assault.

I signalled that the archers loose their volley, and their arrows sailed into the goblin archers, cutting a swathe among them. They appeared to be at the point of flight, but their leaders kept them in line, and they instead prepared to return fire.

Sniffs chaff up the elves.
The goblin cavalry reached our line with incredible speed, but held back from our phalanx to instead shoot at point blank range. Their shots were vicious, and a number of the Star Shields were wounded. As another rock soared overhead, the goblin infantry continued their advance, with a group of spear-carrying goblins making great haste to get around our right flank. They would need to be dealt with sooner rather than later. Arrows from the goblin archers once again found ours, and injuries were sustained, one of our kin dying instantly as an arrow pierced his eye. With grim determination, they made ready their volley.

Tallspears engage the sniffs.
I realised that the goblin archers were more distraction than threat however, and that the encircling spear-goblins could not be ignored. "The spears! Target the spear goblins!" Only the nearest archers heard me over the din of battle; our phalanx were pushing into the goblin missile cavalry and seeing them off. The further archers fired once again into the goblin bowmen, and struck with such precision as to send the survivors running. Those that had heard my command swung around and loosed at the spear-goblins, felling many. The faint glow of Iólon's magic could be seen among them, healing their wounds.

Fleabags charge the Star Shields.
With the screening force scattered, the spider-mounted goblins charged our lines. Another rock sailed overhead; it was only a matter of time until it found its mark. The cavalry crashed into the Star Shields primarily, the nimble reflexes of the spider mounts allowing them to pierce the phalanx. In spite of casualties, the line held firm.

On the right of the field, despite our volley the spear goblins continued to advance, taking up a position in the cover of an old wall.

Tallspears push back.
Sergeant Pennor gave another blast from his horn, and the tallspears pressed forward into the goblin cavalry. Iólon had returned his attention to the line, and directed his magic to heal those wounded in the ongoing melee. Over the chaos of battle I spotted the wolf-mounted leader of the goblin army, spurring his spider riders on. I turned to my feline companion, Orchal, and without needing to say a word the cat darted through the maelstrom and attacked the biggit. Howling in pain as the cat clawed his face, the goblin leader wavered, and the courage of his warriors failed. Those who had survived the attack from our phalanx were sent fleeing at great speed.

Our archers meanwhile had fully directed their attention to the cowering spear goblins. After a devastating volley left many among them dead, they were completely pinned behind the measly protection of the decrepit wall.

Rabble move into the woods.
With the bodies of our foe now strewn before our phalanx, the enemy changed tack. Rather than charge our line head on, they moved into the woods anchoring our centre, daring us to break formation and engage them there. Once more a rock flew wide of its mark, but now a new, previously hidden contraption appeared. It was a "War Trombone", a hideous mockery of warfare employing that foul dwarven invention "gunpowder". It spat shrapnel and smoke at our line, causing grotesque damage. Once more however, the line held firm.

Ingemon and the Moon Shields try to clear the rabble from the woods.
The time had come to enter the fray. Calling the Moon Shields to me, the phalanx line separated as we attempted to push the rabble out of the woods. The Star Shields circled round, covering the flank. As they could not reach the war trombone before it would have another chance to fire, they used a trick they have perfected, holding their shields at just the right angle so as to catch the sun's glare and blind their enemies. It worked, the goblins manning the contraption screeched and covered their eyes. The archers meanwhile continued to fire on the spear goblins, who in turn continued to huddle with fear. Iólon had spotted the goblin biggit, and was chasing him with lightning strikes, to the point where the goblin leader rode his wolf behind the trees and out of sight.

Charging through the trees, the men and I struck with ferocity. The goblins had clearly been expecting the rough terrain to grant them some sort of advantage, and were struck dumb by our expert assault.

Disordered War Trombone considers its options.
Blinded and confused, the war trombone sought safety in the water. Among the goblin rabble, who were hesitating to engage us, was passed around some sort of brew that restored vigour to those we had wounded.

Before we re-engaged, I heard a terrible crash to my left and the cries of our brethren; it appeared that the catapult had at last hit our line. It was too much for the Star Shields, and those who had survived fell back, the wounded borne upon their shields.

Combat continues in the woods, while the biggit hides from Iólon.
Gritting our teeth and holding our nerve, the Moon Shields and I pushed once more into the rabble. This time it was enough, and after cutting down many the rest fled. Meanwhile, half of our archers redirected their shooting to the war trombone, but its crew were unfazed by our volley. Seeing this, Iólon launched lightning at them, but the flag bearing goblin made sure that they were not deterred. It lined up a shot at the Moon Shields...

BOOM!!
Shrapnel exploded through the ranks, armour shredded like parchment in its wake. Perhaps the line would have held, had that been all, but it seemed the catapult had worked out its distances. When the smoke and dust had cleared the survivors of the Moon Shields could be seen following their Star Shield kin to safety.

Ingemon vs Flaggit.
I glimpsed an enemy banner through the smoke. In a moment of rage-fueled insanity, I charged towards it, expecting to come crashing into another regiment of goblins. To my surprise there was just one goblin standing with the flag, evidently a coordinator of their formations. Surprise blunted my concentration, and the flaggit was able to jump back, avoiding the sweep of my axe. Iólon had returned to support our archers, casting healing magic among them. The archers themselves were now facing opposite directions, one half trying to take down the wolf-riding biggit, the others still pouring fire into the spear goblins. This last volley was finally enough, the survivors dropping their spears and fleeing.

War Trombone finds a new target.
The archers had little time to relish their success, before the war trombone roared once again, further flooding the field with smoke and sending them running. All that now stood between the trees and the goblins was myself, Iólon, and the remaining archers.

Shoot that Biggit!
The banner-bearing goblin, clearly mad, came at me, waving its banner pole widely. I calmly deflected the blow and shunted my shield in its face.

Behind me I could here Iólon directing the archers to take down the biggit, and the unmistakable crackle of his magic assisting in the effort. The biggit wavered. It was surely at this point when he realised it was over.

End of game positions.
The biggit gave a cry, and his forces withdrew, the war trombone crew abandoning their weapon in the process. It was likely that they were out of powder anyway.

Thus did our first battle end. We had overcome the enemy, and we had defended the trees. The cost had been dear, and it was to be many days of treating the wounded before we were fit to assist the war effort further. But assist it we would. The stakes were too high for it to be any other way. Whatever happened, whatever the cost, the elves of Therennia Adar had chosen their ground, their new mantra a declaration of intent: these trees will stand.

***

"Pack of elves found nipping at our heels, bloodied them near lake, won't be returning soon"

Grotti-Khan rolled up the scrawled missive and handed it to a messenger on a fleabag. He had left much out of his report, but King Smack-Git didn't need to know the extent of their losses. Goblins were easily replaced, and while they had lost some ground, there were more than enough trees in the forest to harvest. Still, with that mage still alive, the elves would likely be back with reinforcements.

As he contemplated the problem, Grotti's hand began idly rubbing the burn scars on his chest, a present from that damned elf mage. Just his luck to run into him again! Still, it does present new opportunities for revenge, he thought, and his mouth curved into an unconscious snarl.

Game 2 - Respite Denied (Dominate)

Taken from the memoirs of Prince Ingemon, heir to House Enneiros, in which he describes his participation in the great war commonly referred to as "The Edge of the Abyss Campaign". After the expedition assisted in driving back the Goblin menace, The Lady's chosen commander Lord Flaxhoof led the elves to a glade where they could recover their strength. Ingemon describes his conversation with Flaxhoof and goes to great lengths to provide a detailed account of the Forest, the glade, and the state of the war. For expediency's sake, and as those sections do not pertain to this catalogue of the Campaign's battles, we rejoin Ingemon at his second engagement, when a Goblin raiding party stormed the hidden glade:

It was a full two weeks before we once again faced our foe on the field. Although it was not an engagement of our choosing, the men had recovered and were rejuvenated by the splendor of this place.

That an attack should come to us here was indeed a surprise. We were not, however, taken by surprise. Our ranks were formed, our bows were strung. We were ready.

Or so we thought.

***

Grotti-Khan blinked uncomfortably. The light coming through the branches was unnaturally bright, and the whole place had a funny smell which put the fleabags on edge. Grotti was pretty sure that some of the glowing bugs were whispering something, and found it mildly satisfying when his mount would snap at them.

Under normal circumstances Grotti would have never come to this part of the forest. But his scouts had tracked the elves to this sickening place, and nothing would stop him from hunting them down. He had picked out a select group of his best gits to ride fleabags and chariots, along with three trolls and a tamed basilisk, with the intent of finally ridding himself of the elf witch and his pointy-eared brethren.

A scout rode into view from behind a copse, his red top knot flailing as he came to a stop in front of Grotti.

"They're up ahead. I think they're expecting us." The goblin gestured vaguely behind him.

Grotti suddenly became convinced of his earlier suspicions. He smiled cruelly.

"No Stilbik, they won't be expecting this."

Battlefield Overview
We rolled the scenario "Dominate", and were once again playing 800 points a side. We both made changes to our lists from the last game, although my opponents were more drastic, as he has many, many goblins.

Left to Right: Fleabag Regiment with Caterpillar Potion, Slasher with ballista (basilisk and its gaze), Flaggit, Troll Regiment.
Sniffs troop, Biggit on fleabag, Chariot regiment with healing brew.
Archer troop with healing brew, Archer troop with fire-oil, Prince Ingemon, Mage Iólon, Tallspears regiment with Griffin Banner, Tallspears Regiment with Sparkstone.
The plan was simple: I would gun down as much as I could with my archers and focus on sitting my Tallspear regiments on the objective. Together they added up to a mighty 4 unit strength, which should be enough to win out the dominate game, if I could keep them alive.

I won the roll for first turn, and gave it to the Goblins.

Goblins Turn 1: First volley launched.
The chariots and sniffs moved into range on the right flank, while fleabags started to move up the left. Goblin shooting was completely ineffectual this turn.

Elves Turn 1: Defending the right flank.
In response I moved my formation forward very slightly, halting my archers for maximum shooting. The characters moved most, as I wanted to put the mage in range for wind blast and the prince for his pussycat.

The archers only managed 3 on the chariots, which didn't affect them. I was however able to wind blast them out of charge range. The prince's pussycat rolled horribly to hit, and only put 1 on the sniffs, which they ignored.

Goblins Turn 2: Fleabags race up the flank.
The chariots, after healing 2 points with the healing brew, moved back into charge range, and the fleabags continued to speed around the flank. Shooting focused on the furthest out archer troop, dealing 3 damage and wavering them.

Elves Turn 2: Ingemon charges while the Tallspears react.
The wavered archers healed 2 points using the healing brew. With the fleabags threatening the Tallspears, I shifted the formation to deny them a flank. I also charged Prince Ingemon into the sniffs. I hesitated over this, but with their speed and ability to get away and become a late game problem I wanted to see them off. It did however mean my only inspiring source was out on his own, but with a 12 inch it'd be easy to bring him back into formation.

The Tallspears used the sparkstone on the slasher to disorder it (although it had been missing with its ballista). The mage threw a fireball at the fleabag mounted Biggit and wavered him. Archers put more into the chariots but once again a low nerve roll meant they were fine. The prince, despite being hindered, went to town on the sniffs and routed them.

Goblins Turn 3: Fleabags continue to circle the elves.
Meanwhile, chariots reach the archers.

The fleabags made use of their nimble to once again put themselves facing a flank. The chariots charged into the archers, while the wavered biggit used his individual turn to be able to back up and continue to inspire them.

The disordered slasher moved out of the woods to threaten the Tallspears.

In the combat, the chariots routed the archers and turned to face the flank of the other troop.

Elves Turn 3: Elves attempt to maintain formation.
This was a tricky situation. Both the slasher and the fleabags were going to be able to charge next turn. I charged the prince into the biggit - he was on 5 damage and the prospect of routing him was too tempting to ignore. I then turned the threatened Tallspears unit to face the fleabags, and maneuvered the mage to wind blast the slasher out of charge range. I needed one success on 5 dice (with elite) and rolled... all 2s and 3s. I just could not believe it!

The archers put 1 damage on the chariots and once again it was steady.

Prince Ingemon must have got a good hit in on the biggit, because he sent him packing.

Goblins Turn 4: Multi-charging the Tallspears.
While the chariots cause havoc among the archers.
Wham-bam. The slasher and fleabags multi-charged the tallspears and the chariots flank charged the archers. The trolls were also moving into threat range now. The tallspears were utterly trashed, while being hindered really hurt the chariots who only put 2 damage on the archers, not even managing to wavering them.

Elves Turn 4: Remaining Tallspears face the enemy.
The writing was on the wall at this point, but I had to make the best of it. The remaining Tallspears turned to face the fleabags/slasher, and the archers counter-charged. The prince finally made his may back to inspire someone other than himself, while the wizard cast weakness on the fleabags.

The archers put 1 damage on the chariots, but they held firm.

Goblins Turn 5:

In the obvious combats, the Tallspears were wavered and the chariots failed to rout the archers. The trolls were now in range for a charge next turn.

Elves Turn 5: Ingemon attempts to hold off the slasher.
I charged the prince into the slasher, trying to hold it up. The Tallspears backed up, and the wizard wind blasted the trolls, but only got 2 successes when 3 were needed to stop a charge.

The archers finally fought off the chariots, and turned back to face the centre.

Goblins Turn 6: Trolls join the fray.
The trolls and fleabags charge the Tallspears and destroy them. The slasher wavered the prince.

In elves turn 6, shooting from the archers and the mage focused on the trolls, but they withstood the damage.

There was no turn 7.

Game over.
From the Prince's memoirs:

We were cast from the glade that day, the foul laughter of the goblins chasing us through the trees. We had failed in this battle, but as the survivors gathered we knew, without so much as exchanging a word, that our resolve was not broken. Rather, it was iron. We would reclaim these woods.

I sought out the Mage Iólon and we began to discuss our response, our task straightforward as ever. No matter the cost, these trees would stand.

Game 3 - Take Back Control (Control)

While the glade they had conquered would need more goblins to begin proper deforestation, that didn't mean they couldn't make the place more comfortable. Not long after their last battle, the goblins had set about repairing the chariots, cutting away branches and placing elven heads on sharpsticks. 

Grotti-Khan's troops were beginning to get impatient, but the biggit had to make sure that the mage was dead. Him and that mad elf with the axe. They had survived their attack, he could feel it. Hunting them through the forest was pointless. This glade was important to the elves. Which meant they'd be back. And he'd be waiting.

He was shocked out of his brooding when one of his scouts burst into his yurt.

"You were right boss, they're coming."

***

Taken from the memoirs of Prince Ingemon, heir to House Enneiros, describing his participation in the great war, commonly referred to as "The Edge of the Abyss Campaign":

The goblins who had driven us from the glade had not pursued us far. Apparently believing us scattered, they were instead securing the area for themselves. It was clear that this was an elite vanguard, whose job had been to take the forest and await reinforcements before commencing deforestation. It gave us a window, and less than one full day after our retreat, we returned to take back control.

Battlefield Overview
For this battle we rolled the scenario "Control". As we were playing on a 4x4 field, the table quarter across and to the right of each player would be worth 2 points.

Left to Right: Fleabag Regiment with Caterpiller Potion, Troll Regiment with dwarven ale, Flaggit (behind trolls).
Slasher with ballista (basilisk with its gaze) in the woods, Chariot regiment with healing brew, mounted Biggit, Sniffs troop.
(Apologies for blurry pic) Tallspears regiment with sparkstone, Tallspears regiment with griffin banner, archer troop (behind) with healing brew, Prince Ingemon + Cat (also behind), Mage Iólon, Archer troop with fire oil.
In the last game the elven formation was spread too thin, as well as being encircled (i.e. worst of both worlds). I decided to accept the inevitable encirclement this game and have my archers anchor the centre, as they would at least be able to turn and get a volley off at the fleabags. My Tallspears meanwhile would move together up one flank, daring a frontal charge.

The elves won the roll off, and once again gave first turn to the goblins.

Goblins Turn 1: Moving into range.
Goblin shooters moved into range, while the fleabags sped down the flank. Shooting wasn't effective, wherever damage was done Iron Resolve restored it (game was played while good were still granted it).

Elves Turn 1: The formation begins to advance.
The tallspears moved up while the archers trained their aim on the chariots. The volley was devastating, cutting them down entirely.

Goblins Turn 2: Fleabags and Trolls threaten the flanks.
The sniffs backed up out of charge range, and the trolls/fleabags continued to outflank the elven line. Shooting was again ineffective, with Iron Resolve preventing any meaningful damage being built up.

Elves Turn 2: Archers turn to face the threat.
Tallspears continued their implacable advance. Elven shooting turned to focus fire on the fleabags, but despite dealing 5 damage couldn't waver/rout them.

Goblins Turn 3: Fleabags charge the Mage.
The (possibly overly ambitious) mage was caught out by the fleabags, who were hoping for an overrun. The biggit and the sniffs continued to back away, but once again shooting failed to make an impact.

The fleabags put 5 damage on the mage and wavered him.

Elves Turn 3: Elven phalanx emerges from the trees.
As the tallspears pushed through the woods, the Sparkstone was fired at the slasher, disordering it. The archers rolled very poorly, and were only able to put another 1 damage on the fleabags, but it was enough to waver them.

Goblins Turn 4: The Trolls are hungry...
The trolls, who were hugging the woods to dissuade the archers, moved to threaten the tallspear flank. The disordered slasher moved to be in range for a charge in its next turn. Again the sniffs/biggit backed up, and again their shooting was shrugged off.

Elves Turn 4: Tallspears face the Slasher.
With the tallspears at threat from a combined front/flank charge, it was crunch time. I had the option to turn and put them both in the front arc of the regiment. I thought, however, that I could just wind blast the trolls out of charge range (déjà vu).

The archers finally saw off the fleabags, and I went to wind blast the trolls. Oh dear. The flaggit was standing 1 inch behind them, making any attempt to wind blast them pointless. Looks like the tallspears were facing a flank charge. At the very least however, the mage was able to cast weakness on the trolls.

Goblins Turn 5: Multi-charging the Tallspears.
As well as being weakened, the trolls also clipped the woods and were hindered. The sniffs continued to dance out of range, and between them managed to put 3 damage on the tallspears, so for once Iron Resolve didn't restore all damage.

Rolling for the combat was poor, and only 5 damage was achieved (so 4 with Iron Resolve).

Elves Turn 5: Archers target Trolls, while Tallspears focus on the Slasher.
The tallspears counter-charged the slasher, while the other unit turned to prepare a charge should they fail and fall. The archers focused fire on the trolls but rolled horribly, managing only 1 damage.

The prince meanwhile loosed his cat on the sniffs troop, who went to town, racking up 8 damage and routing them.

The tallspears did 3 damage in combat to the slasher, but with nerve 16/18 it would take more than that to take it down.

Goblins Turn 6: The Biggit shoots at Prince Ingemon.
The trolls regenerated the 1 damage and re-charged the tallspears along with the slasher. The biggit shot the prince and managed 2 damage, which turned into 1 with Iron Resolve.

The combined charge took the tallspears up to 10 damage, but thanks to the inspiring presence of the prince (and an unlucky second roll) they stood their ground.

Elves Turn 6: The Mage Iólon heals the Tallspears.
My dice were crazily good this turn. The archers finally found their aim and took down the trolls. The mage cast heal on the tallspears and took them down from 9 to 4 (that's 5 successes!). In combat the tallspears brought the slasher up to 8 and, despite the inspiring presence on the flaggit, were able to rout the beast.

With only a flaggit and a biggit left it was all over for the goblins.

End of game positions.
From the Prince's memoirs:

Our plan had worked, and the glade was free of goblin filth once more. In the grand scheme of things, and in light of what we all now know about the wider war, this battle may seem small, nothing more than a peripheral skirmish perhaps. To my mind, however, it represented a moment when the good peoples of Mantica once again found their resolve, and more than that, they found it to be iron.

For our efforts, the trees of Galahir yet stood - and we stood with them.

Game 4 - Once More Unto The Forest (Occupy)

Grotti-Khan had fully expected King Smack-Git to react to his failure against the Elf counter attack with his usual apoplexy but the self proclaimed monarch had simply demanded he meet the human threat to the south of the logging camp with better success. Grotti had not dissapointed, bringing the remnants of his force to join up with Smack-Git's host to face the Basilean crusade. 

With the manlings fleeing, the Goblin King brought his army back to face the pointy ears once and for all. Grotti's scouts found the Elf force much quicker than he had expected, for the simple reason that it had grown. Some local elves had joined up with the host and were moving towards the logging camp. 

Grotti could see their shiny armour and spear tips across the glade. His mount growled menacingly. He looked to his right at the hordes of greenskinned creatures awaiting their commands and raised his fist. The sounds of gongs, horns and shields being drummed rose to fill the air. Even the Trolls were yelling, although Grotti doubted they had any idea what was happening. No doubt Smack-Git's Archers on the far flank could here the din and knew they had encountered the enemy.

"Try to escape this, knife-eared witch!" cried Grotti, and he was unable to hear himself over the din of the goblin host.

***

Taken from the memoirs of Prince Ingemon, heir to House Enneiros, describing his final battle in the great war, commonly referred to as "The Edge of the Abyss Campaign":

Knowing that a larger goblin army would surely follow, we marched to face them. Alone with such a small force as ours, one might think that we marched to our doom. However, among the trees of Galahir, dear readers, one is never truly alone. No sooner had we set out from the glade when we were met with a contingent of our Sylvan kin. They had been tracking the goblin party that we had recently dispatched, and we gladly combined our strength. As the sun reached its zenith and in the shadows of Galahir, we engaged the goblin foe one last time.

Battlefield Overview
For our final battle in the campaign we invited another player at our FLGS to pitch in on the elf side and bring our game size up to 1600 points. As it isn't his main army, only his mage was painted (and it was lovely, but I forgot to get a good picture), but we really appreciated him helping us out and giving the final clash between Ingemon and Smack-Git a bigger scale.

The scenario for this game was "Occupy", and the purple tokens in the above picture show their placement. The primary objectives are harder to spot, but the one on the goblin side is towards the left (behind the woods) and the one in the elf half is under the tallspears.

As you can see for deployment, the brunt of both armies was focused on the right side of the field, while on the left the goblin king Smack-Git hung out with the spitter horde with jar of four winds. As this was the first goblin drop, we denied it many targets and at the end of deployment placed the hunters of the wild regiment across from them (although behind the trees), looking to clear them out and end the game on the primary objective.

Elves won the roll for first turn and decided to take it.

Elves Turn 1
The elves began their advance, looking to get some good shooting in before the goblins could respond. The hunters of the wild, having vanguarded up, moved into the woods ready for a turn 2 charge on the spitter horde.

The archers on the far right put 1 damage on the mincer, while the bolt thrower took out the goblin sharpstick thrower in one shot.

Goblin Turn 1
The goblin advance was cautious, looking to maintain a threatening formation. The big rocks thrower hit the tallspears on the hill, dealing 6 damage. The spitters tried to halt the hunters of the wild, but the 2 damage was not enough.

Elves Turn 2: Hunters of the Wild charge the Spitters.
While the hunters engaged the spitters, one unit of tallspears moved to tempt a charge from the trolls, while palace guard and the other tallspears readied a counter charge. The sparkstone failed to disorder the trombone, but the archers on the right were able to waver the mincer. The wizard healed 3 points on the damaged tallspears. The bolt thrower targeted the big rocks thrower and went two for two, destroying it.

In combat the hunters put 7 damage on the spitters.

Goblin Turn 2:

In a move I hadn't seen coming, the sharpsticks horde moved backwards, opening a charge lane for the giant to multi-charge the tallspears along with the trolls. The trombone targeted the mage on the hill, dealing 5 damage, while the wiz used his amulet of fire-heart to lightning and then bloodboil the unengaged tallspears, bringing them up to 9.

In combat the combined might of the giant and the trolls routed the tallspears.

Elves Turn 3
The remaining tallspear unit charged the flank of the rabble regiment, while the palace guard charged the trolls. The prince moved to unleash the kitty on the war trombone.

The bolt thrower targeted King Smack-Git (who had been helping the spitters counter-charge the hunters of the wild) and hit him for 1 damage. The archers on the hill targeted the giant, putting 3 damage on him, while the mage healed the tallspears by a mighty 5 points! The sabre-toothed kitty chased away the war trombone's crew, and presumably spent the rest of the battle licking itself on a tree branch. The archers on the far right, realising that the mincer was out of range for a charge next turn anyway, and that destroying it would only open a charge lane for the fleabag riders, focused fire on said riders and, with some help from the other mage's fireball, routed them.

In combat the palace guard dealt 4 damage to the trolls, while the tallspears scattered the rabble and turned to face the giant.

Goblins Turn 3
The trolls regenerated 1 damage and counter-charged. The giant charged the tallspears, and the mincer moved up at the double, ending some two inches from the elf archers. The mounted biggit and the wiz focused fire on the mage and took him out.

In the combats the goblins had much to celebrate, with both the trolls and the giant routing their foes.

Elves Turn 4
Things were looking very delicate now, and the elves could not afford to put a foot wrong. The prince moved to block the giant's charge lanes to the elf archers (i.e. precious scoring units) but did not charge, so as to allow another volley at him. On the right, with the mincer uninspired and on 3 damage, the mage sitting behind it would use fireball to clear it, and so the other archers either backed up or pivoted to target the trolls. Rather than continue targeting the goblin king, the bolt thrower turned to cover the primary objective next turn.

Shooting began with the remaining mage fireballing the mincer - 0 damage. Oh dear. In desperation, the only archer troop that could targeted the mincer, and despite needing 6s to hit and damage, manage 1 point, bringing it up to 4! Nerve was then rolled and... a 4. All that drama, and the mincer wasn't even wavered. The archers now facing (in one sense) an inevitable rear charge put 2 damage on the trolls, bringing them to 5 and wavering them! The shooting that focused on the giant dealt 4 in total, taking him to 7.

On the far side of the battlefield the hunters of the wild finally convinced the spitters to bugger off, and turned towards the primary objective, the path to which was blocked by King Smack-Git himself.

Goblins Turn 4: Mincer does some mincin'.
The trolls regenerated 1 and rolled their dwarven ale headstrong, passing it and advancing onto the primary objective. The giant charged the prince, while the wiz and biggit focused fire on an archer troop, dealing 2 damage.

The giant dealt 4 damage to Ingemon but (after a re-roll) only managed a waver. The mincer minced the archers, and turned to face the other.

Elves Turn 5
The angle of the mincer allowed the archer troop to move past it and out of the charge arc, looking to contest one of the central objectives on turn 6. One of the archers on the hill backed out of the sharpstick's charge range, as did the wavered prince so as to keep inspiring them. Shooting on the trolls brought them to 7 damage but couldn't waver them, while the giant on the other hand was brought up to 10 and successfully wavered.

In the only combat, the hunters of the wild dealt 6 damage to the goblin king, bringing him to 7 but after a re-roll only wavering him.

Goblin Turn 5:

The goblins hastily moved their biggit and flaggit to inspire the trolls (who regenerated 3 points) and the giant respectively. The sharpstick horde moved onto one of the central objectives, and the mincer turned to face the rear of the nearest archer troop.

With shooting achieving little, it was time for potentially the last turn.

Elves Turn 6
One archer troop moved off the hill, out of the giant's arc of sight and onto a central objective, while the other turned to shoot the trolls. Further right, the other archers moved to contest the objective held by the sharpsticks. Prince Ingemon charged the wiz.

The mage redeemed herself somewhat by finally fireballing the mincer to death. Otherwise shooting was a bust, managing only 1 damage on the trolls (achieving nothing) and 1 on the giant, bringing him to 11 but, thanks to a poor nerve roll, failing to halt it.

Prince Ingemon dealt 3 damage to the wiz and wavered him. The hunters of the wild finally chased off King Smack-Git (typical goblin leadership eh?). If they rolled a 6 on the overrun, they would hold the primary objective. Rolling only a 2, a 7th turn would be needed to secure a win/draw.

Goblin Turn 6:

Going into this turn the score was 2-1 to the goblins. The trolls regenerated 2 damage and turned to face the board centre. The sharpsticks charged the archer troop (forgot yellow-bellied!). The giant had the choice of a rear-charge on an archer troop, but fearing a turn 7 turnaround instead moved to contest the objective held by the archer troop. In combat the sharpsticks wavered the archer troop.

We rolled for turn 7, but it wasn't to be.

Goblin victory!
End of game positions.
From the Prince's memoirs:

We had fought valiantly but, in this part of the forest at least, our cause was lost. Devastation was all that could be seen in the wake of our foe, and despite our best efforts to halt its progression, evil itself moved through those woods. Spurred by shadow and flame.

Our survivors were now too few for us to continue. The journey back to Therennia Adar loomed. Though our hearts were heavy with sorrow for what we had witnessed, I write this account as a testimony to the courage of our Sea-Kindred, who fought in a distant land for a cause that rests close to the hearts of all our kin. As we mourn what was lost, may we ever kindle the fires of our righteous vengeance, and let forth this cry unto the darkness: the elves stand with the trees.

***

Smack-Git was pretty sure that human kings didn't have to hide amongst tall grass from insane Elf warriors. On the other hand, if they ever did, they would doubtless be far less capable of remaining unseen than Smack-Git was, such was his remarkable skill set. 

It had been a good hour at least since the Elves had swarmed his position, slicing through the goblin bowmen like twigs. Smack-Git had fought valiantly, taking one out with his axe, before resolving to fire arrows into them from a distance. He had even managed to hold them off when they turned to charge him, until it became clear that they were capable of ending his life. With the future of his Goblindom in danger, Smack-Git had no choice but to escape. 

Now, crouched in the grass, he could hear the sound of some kind of hounds approaching. Had the Elves sent hunting dogs? Did they even use those? He cautiously peeked through the grass. A group of Goblins riding fleabags were heading towards his position. He immediately stood up and began straightening his armour to restore some dignity. 

As the fleabags drew near, he recognised Grotti at the head of the group. He addressed him as the group drew near.

"I see you have also managed to escape Grotti. Have the survivers regrouped? We should feed one in ten to any Trolls which wondered off during the fight, to remind them to keep fighting."

Grotti looked like he was about to respond but he let his King finish.

"I believe we have some more workers at the logging camp, we can either make a stand there or take what timber we have and load them into carts. We can begin a staggered retreat from the forest till-"

"My lord Smack-Git, King of the Goblins, Tamer of Trolls, Rider of Chariots, Wrestler of Mawbeasts, Giant Speaker, Basilisk Breeder, Archer Supreme and Wielder of the Golden axe of Ogre-Slicing."

Smack-Git closed his mouth. Grotti only bothered to speak half his full titles, and even then only when he had something important to say.

"My King, the gits in your position distracted the enemy so that our gits could take the enemy position. The elves are legging it. We won the battle."

King Smack-Git stared in silence for nearly 10 seconds. Then he burst into laughter such that one can only hear in the most destitute asylum. The other scouts began to laugh in sympathy but Grotti just stared straight ahead, a bored vacant expression overtaking his features.

"YES!" he yelled between fits of laughter, "I AM UNSTOPPABLE!"

Epilogue


The sun rose on a frosty morning at Tiriant Dalath, its light promising a warmth it would not deliver. The ongoing restoration of the island fortress could be still be seen, with wooden scaffolds spanning great lengths of the stonework. Due to the biting winds from the north, activity had waned somewhat, and those elves who continued to labour did so while bundled tightly in their cloaks. From his window in the topmost room of the great tower, Ingemon looked out across the Infant Sea. A little over a month had passed since their ignoble return to the fortress, at which point Iólon had set sail for Walldeep. Barring any trouble, the mage should have arrived weeks ago. Truly, there was yet no reason to worry, thought Ingemon. Still, he should have received some word from the capital by now.


Yes…” he muttered, “news does seem to have a habit of missing Tiriant Dalath.” With every passing day, his apprehension grew.


Did you say something, my Lord?”


Ingemon turned to see one of the tower stewards, who had been tending the fire. He had done his job well, as the flames confidently beat back the ever-encroaching cold.


Nothing important… Calithilben?”


Yes, my Lord.” The steward smiled appreciatively. Ingemon returned it lightly, and gave a small nod, signalling that he may go. Calithilben collected his things, bowed, and left to continue his rounds. Ingemon stepped away from the room’s solitary window and towards the writing desk. Compared with the tower’s many other rooms, the study was small and humble. Its prestige, as is so often the case in elven culture, was granted purely by virtue of its superior altitude. Its rounded walls formed a perfect circle, with a crescent-shaped desk occupying the centre. The chair was large and ostentatious, on both counts at odds with the rest of the room. The space was further diminished by the shelves Ingemon had had brought up for his own use, as those already there were filled with the various effects of the previous resider – the mage Iólon. Ingemon glanced over these shelves as he passed, something he had done many times before. Books and scrolls jostled with unusual and intricate contraptions, jars of mysterious liquids sat nestled among the various ingredients which no doubt produced them, plants, fungi, fingers…


Ingemon repressed a shudder. He had great respect for the secrets of the mystic arts, but as far as he was concerned, the more secret they were, the better. While he often caught himself gazing at some item or another on Iólon’s shelves, nothing had been, nor would ever be, disturbed.


He moved to the desk and sat down in the ornate chair. He absent-mindedly ran his hands along the delicately carved designs that adorned the chair’s arms, an intriguing yet ultimately formless meandering by the undoubtedly skilled artisan. A map of the region lay immediately before him, and to his left were the latest reports for his consideration. The majority related to administrative concerns at the fortress, supplies, progress on the repairs, the watch rotation, and so on. Ingemon began to pile these to one side as he sifted through, finally coming to the one that most interested him – the scouting report. The lack of news from the outside was maddening, and had stocked his temptation to send his scouts out further afield. He had resisted, however, and as such the report, coming from the patrols on the coastline to the north, was the same as always – nothing. No activity to report.


Feeling another wave of disquiet approaching, Ingemon quickly marked the page to indicate that he had reviewed it, and grabbed the next report on the pile. It looked like the lumber supplies were getting low, and they would have to increase their projected purchases for the next few months if the reconstruction was not to suffer a setback. However, with the coming winter, the trade price will have increased and… as Ingemon’s eyes wandered from the page, so too did his mind wander from the present. Gazing out the window, the prince found himself remembering the long march back from Galahir, and his parting with Iólon. Images of the burning forest still haunted him, and the elves were like ghosts themselves as they trudged back south. Somehow Ingemon had maintained the strength to continue his journal of events, noting that the battle for the plains appeared to have gone particularly well, with orc, goblin, and rat-thing alike sent packing by the combined might of the kingdoms of men – as well as their ogre allies, of course. When they reached Tiriant Dalath Ingemon had sent Iólon back to Therennia Adar with the journal, to deliver the account directly to High King Ariandaras’s council. Ingemon, charged with defending the island fortress, would remain there until his inevitable recall. The dishonour of his defeat at Galahir had sealed his fate, and it would be many years before they would grant him another opportunity to prove himself.


Putting the reports to one side, Ingemon opened one of the desk drawers and collected a roll of parchment from within. Pieces of broken wax still clung to the page, revealing fragments of the Sea Kindred’s military seal. While the fortress had received no word from the higher ups in Walldeep, this missive from Captain Sæwon had arrived one week after Ingemon’s return from Galahir. The captain had been visiting salamander ports to the east, organising trade and making connections with that seafaring race, whose dominion of the waves could be matched only by the Sea Kindred themselves. Sæwon had since returned, but his initial report was so thorough that he had had nothing to add. Unfolding it before him, for what must have been the hundredth time, Ingemon began to read. While the captain naturally gave precedence to his diplomatic and trading mission, he had wisely thought to include a summary of the various news and rumours he had gleaned regarding the wider war. To the east, the undead fleet lay in ruins, and the abyssal dwarf invasion had been halted. More astonishing than these victories, the Green Lady’s alliance had not only held back the expansion of the Abyss, but had sunk it, creating a new sea in the north. In the face of these victories, Sæwon had discovered nothing concrete regarding Galahir, and heard nothing at all about the Twilight Glades. Neither boded well. It seemed the elves had paid a high price in this war.


The wind was picking up, and caused the small window to rattle. As Ingemon considered whether to close the inner shutters, the faint sound of a horn briefly slipped between the window’s clattering. It was so brief, in fact, that the prince was sure that he had imagined it. But then the wind abated slightly, and there was no denying it. A ship was approaching. Ingemon moved to the window, and from his vantage point could clearly make out the tell-tale shape of a Sea-Kindred vessel, coming in from the west.


Iólon!” he thought, pleased that his old tutor had finally returned, and that the silence from the capital would finally be broken. Although, that also meant the time had come. He would find out the fate to which the council had condemned him. With an uncomfortable mix of eagerness and apprehension, Ingemon began to descend the tower.


***
As port workers brought the sleek elven craft to berth, Iólon assessed the work on the walls. Clearly, there had been a slow down, but given recent events he was pleased that there was any progress at all. The turbulence of the war had resulted not only in a disruption of trade, but a drastic shift in the priorities of the King’s council. The restoration of Tiriant Dalath, a bold initiative among many from only a year ago, was now treated as an indulgence of those originally tasked with its undertaking. Normally, Iólon would consider such incoherence to be typical of the council, but given the profound impact of the recent war, he supposed they could be given a pass. So engrossed was the mage in his musings that he failed to notice Ingemon walking up the pier to greet him. It was only as he began to disembark that he spotted the prince waiting for him. The controlled look on his face told Iólon that he feared the worst, much as he might try to hide it. The mage smiled.


“My apologies for the long absence, Ingemon. I’m glad to see you’re taking good care of my tower.”


This teased a smile from the prince, and they clasped hands. “Of course. Although, what good is a tower really, without a mage in the spire, looking down on the rest of us?”


“True. Our benevolent gaze is a gift to the world.”


They laughed, and began to walk along the pier. “I see the cold has come early to these lands. Winter’s touch should be months away.”


Ingemon nodded absently. “Yes, the north winds press on us with a vengeance. Or as if fleeing their homelands.”


It was clear the prince’s mind was not truly on the weather. Iólon decided to cut to the chase.


“Galahir was saved, Ingemon.”


For a moment, it appeared that the prince could not process this. Then surprise flooded his features.


“What? How?”


Iólon gave a shrug. “The details aren’t clear, nor do they particularly matter. We have confirmation that after we left, the Lady’s forces turned the tide and drove out the goblins.”


Ingemon let out a short laugh, expressing a mixture of stunned relief and joy. This was quickly followed by a look of horror.


“But my journal… did you deliver my account to the council?”


“It was the first thing I did. I only found out myself after.”


“But… but I describe a defeat! I mourn the loss of the Forest!” His voice had risen, and several heads turned to look at them. He regained his composure. “They’ll think me a fool.”


“Actually, your account was very well received by the council.”


“What?”


“In light of the overall victory at Galahir, I mean.” Ingemon was about to speak, but the mage held up his hand, and carried on. “Your account describes the noble sacrifice of our forces to save the Forest, and saved it was. That you believed to have failed only added to its effect in the council’s view.”


“Its effect? It wasn’t poetry, it was a report.”


“It was an account, Ingemon, you can hardly claim to have presented unembellished facts. Come, I wish to see the work on the walls more closely. Let’s walk along the battlements.”


The prince shrugged, and they climbed the steps. They walked in silence for a moment, Ingemon lost in thought, Iólon patiently awaiting the next question. When it came, it wasn’t what he had expected.


“Why did you take so long to return?”


“A number of reasons. My testimony took a lot longer than it should have – they wanted me to confirm everything you had described. Then there was the publishing.”


“Publishing?”


“Of your account.” They stopped walking. “I’ll be blunt, Ingemon. The council have turned you and your account into something of a… propaganda tool. Your account has been widely distributed among the capital’s citizenry. You’re famous.”


“Famous… for a defeat?”


Iólon shrugged. “The people love it. And as for the other factors in my delay, well, I was forced to wait while your reinforcements were prepared.” He gestured out to the ship. Ingemon looked, and saw a contingent of extravagantly equipped soldiers in the process of disembarking. With their two-handed blades and resplendent armour, there was no mistaking a contingent of Palace Guard.


The prince turned to Iólon, who could not help but let out a laugh at his look of total astonishment. His every expectation had been utterly overturned.


“Then I take it that I am not to be recalled and demoted?”


Iólon placed a hand on Ingemon’s shoulder, and gave him a look of amused condolence. “I’m afraid you’re stuck out here for now, young Lord.”


Ingemon shook his head, overwhelmed. “Any other news you’d like to give me? May as well hit me with it now.”


“Just one more thing.”


Iólon looked at him with seriousness, which Ingemon returned.


“I’m going to need you to go ahead and get out of my study.”
***


Smack-git wasn't there when Grotti opened the flap of his tent, but the other biggits and flagbearers were, most of whose names Grotti had never bothered to learn. None of the wizs were there, he noticed, as he found a spot in the circle to sit between a mean looking goblin wearing a black hood and a skinny wretch with an admittedly impressive nose.

“Any word from the King?” Whispered the skinny one. Grotti leered in response and the git looked away.

As Grotti expected, Smack-git let them stew a while before entering the tent, flanked by his two favourite wizs. He strutted into the middle of the circle and addressed his council.

“Well” he began, pausing for emphasis. “That didn't quite go to plan.”

He was answered by an anxious silence. The other goblins were clearly terrified but Grotti had been through all this before, and was mostly bored by the “King’s” theatrics. Mostly.

Since the first time they'd met, Grotti had only shown the bare minimum in subservience to the self proclaimed king. This seemed to frustrate Smackgit, but he had never directly acknowledged the issue. At first Grotti assumed that he would be gotten rid of for his poor brown nosing, but as time went on he found himself in Smackgits inner circle of trusted gits. Grotti could only surmise that by not directly challenging his authority, and yet having more of a spine then any of the other gits could muster, he'd broken the kings brain somehow. Even so, a dim part of him wondered if Smackgit’s mind might not snap back into place and turn Grotti into fleabag food.

“Now whose fault do we think that is?” Smack-git demanded of his coterie. Grotti remembered the living trees, fae creatures and stranger things which had overrun the logging camp and wondered idly how Smack-git was going to blame this on his followers.

“Those stinking elves!” exclaimed the hooded goblin and a few others took up his cry.

Smack-git held up his hand for silence.
“Who here saw a single elf at the camp?” For a moment the question had them stumped, until another goblin piped in with “Elves is tricksy!” and the crowd began murmuring in agreement.

Acknowledging the logic of this statement, Smack-git nodded sagely. “This much is true, but even so,” he paused again, “when the trolls and I were fighting to defend the camp” (when you were standing behind the trolls and yelling, Grotti thought) “which of my loyal gits were fighting at my side?”

The goblins sat in stunned silence. Grotti tried to consider what kind of moron would have actually stayed behind for such a lost cause when even Smack-git hadn't lasted much longer than his gits. Maybe something particularly stupid, like a dwarf or a dog, which to Grotti was basically one and the same.

“YOU ALL FLED! LIKE RATS!” The goblins around Grotti flinched and cowered in fear.

Smack-git collected himself. “Your cowardice will be made an example of.” He began pointing to the various gits and counting to himself. He skipped Grotti and pointed to the skinny one next to him. “You.”

The long nosed git started panicking as two rabble entered the tent and started dragging him out. His pleas for forgiveness were pointedly ignored, and soon his screams were replaced by the sounds of Fleabags fighting over his remains.

This ritual continued until about a third of the goblins in the tent were gone. Smack-git, finally satisfied, unceremoniously told everyone to get out and the various gits started squeezing out the flap, each trying to appear as unhurried as possible.

“Not you, Khan” called Smack-git as Grotti got to his feet. Once the tent was cleared, the younger of the two Wizes brought out a table and began spreading a map across its surface. The older Wiz sat cross legged on the floor,staring into space.

“Take a look.” Smack-git pointed at the map. Grotti peered down at the table. It depicted the north western area of Mantica, with a particular focus on the Ardovikian plain. A valley had been crudely circled. Smack-git pointed to it. “ Zomog’s visions have pointed us to this valley. It is here that I shall found my kingdom.”

Grotti scratched his stomach idly. “Isn't that orc territory?” Smack-git laughed, always an unpleasant sound. “The orcs have been broken by the armies of men and their ogre lackeys. This valley is ripe for conquest!”

Grotti nodded. It was clear that Smack-git was set on this plan. He had likely brought Grotti over to hear him agree out loud, which Smack-git expected everyone to do. Grotti decided to skip this tiresome ritual and instead addressed the sitting figure, “what kind of vision?”

Smack-git looked confused, but didn't say anything. Zomog remained utterly still, and Grotti began to wonder if he was aware that he'd been asked a question until finally, the wiz opened his mouth.

“An ancient kingdom, drowning in winter. A great thaw, a city in ruins. A land forgotten, awaiting a master.”

The younger wiz  began cackling unnervingly. Zomog slowly rose to his feet and approached Smack-git.

“This will be your kingdom.”
Smack-git turned to face Grotti, a satisfied look on his face. Grotti nodded again, watching Zomog and wondering where the real power would lie in this kingdom.
 

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