Campaign AAR, A Minuet of Moon and Lightning

Our group just completed our Band of Blades campaign, and I as the Lorekeeper want to share the annals, telling the story of what happened during the long retreat from Ettenmark Fields to Skydagger Keep. Most of the posts will consist of annals describing happened on missions, though I’ll include various interludes (back at camp, dramatis personae, old tales of the legion, and out of character mechanical notes).

Dramatis Personae

  • Lieutenant Anirbhan Godpole, Bartan Officer
    Anirbhan Godpole was head of his class at university, but had a strong yearning to see the world and make a difference in the conflict with the Cinder King. Fascinated by the storied history of the Legion, he joined them just before the Legion, as part of the Second Eastern Expeditionary army under Shreya, arrived at Ettenmark Fields. His first action as a provisional officer in the Legion was at Ettenmark Fields, where he had the distinction of being the lowest ranked officer in the Legion. After Ettenmark Fields, he became its only remaining officer.

  • Zai Yaryevna, Zemyati Medic
    Zai was struck ill as a child, and not expected to live. However, a local healer took deep interest in bringing her back to health, and once Zai recovered she swore to stay strong and use her talents to heal others as well. By then the healer was closer to her then her own kin who had given up hope when she was ill, so when the healer left to seek more knowledge Zai went with her. Alas, their party was set upon and the healer was killed, but Zai was saved by members of the Legion. Zai went with them and made herself useful as a medic in training, eventually signing up, learning to shoot, and using her skills to help the Legion fend off enemies both natural and unnatural. She is well known within the Legion for her tenacity and loyalty.

  • Silver Dancing Storm, Panyar Sniper
    Her parents and much of her village were killed by a mutated boar beast, Rakthos the Great Boar. She swore vengeance and joined the Legion, who were hired to exterminate the beast, and Silver Dancing Storm ended up staying on with them after the job was done. She traveled to the Panyar forest in order to hone her hunting skills, and seeked the forest’s blessing in order to get every edge she could in the hunting of the supernatural. She resents the divine and therefore all chosen since they are the source of magic in the world. Her mark is avian predatory eyes, and she is known for her killer instinct and calm under fire.

  • Maximillian “Mercy” Brecht, Orite Heavy
    Maximilian was born to one of the outer clans at the periphery of Or, one that is known to those outside of the Or as being mystical, but known within the Or city states as uncouth bandits. Maximilian was known to torture animals as a child and graduated to theft and murder. When the heat got too high in his hometown, Mercy decided to try his luck far far away… The Legion had a use for Mercy’s immense strength, and Mercy found his calling as the Legion’s cruel, cold-hearted killer.

  • Emerald Dancing Moonlight, a.k.a. The Horned One
    Originally known as Emerald Dancing Moonlight, the Chosen of the Horned One raged when Nyx was broken and the moon shattered. She found out the Horned One and thrust herself to become his Chosen. They seek vengeance for their loss.
    The Horned One can take animal form and can shift quickly from one animal form or forms to another. The Horned One seeks knowledge and intel, often ranging out from camp to discover what has occurred at large, infrequently appearing at camp in human form. When she appears, all around her are blessed with unnatural calm and ease, and she speaks in ways that appear transcendently mystical.

Ghost Owls

  • Chevalier Norris Lanno
  • Mahogany Piercing Thorn
  • Saniz Karlovich
  • Blue Streaming Laurel
  • Manakesh Kleriki

Mechanical Interlude

Lieutenant Anirbhan Godpole: Warm, Educated, Officer School, Channels 1, Research 2, Skirmish 1, Maneuver 1, Consort 1, Discipline 1, Marshal 1, Sway 2
Zai Yaryevna: Tough, Loyal, First Aid, Doctor 1, Research 2, Rig 1, Skirmish 1, Shoot 1, Maneuver 1, Consort 1, Discipline 1, Sway 1
Silver Dancing Storm: Traveler, Shrewd, Notches, Aim 2, Scout 2, Shoot 2, Maneuver 1, Discipline 1
Mercy: Stern, Cold (starting Trauma which does not count against death, instead taking the place of a heritage trait), War Machine, Anchor 1, Scout 1, Wreck 2, Skirmish 2, Maneuver 1, Discipline 1, Sway 1
The Horned One favors the Mystic. She is radiant and transcendent, and is a shapeshifter.
The Legion is pursued by Breaker and Blighter.

Postal Pickup and Delivery (Mission Obsidian Squall)

As Commander Garossi was marshalling the remnants of the Legion, a squirrel walked into the camp and transformed into an antlered Panyar. The presence of the Panyar instantly calmed the camp, which had been on the precipice of panic. Announcing herself as the former Emerald Dancing Moonlight, priestess of Nyx and as the current Chosen of the Horned One, the Horned One informed Garossi that she had been watching the Legion, and believe that she can help the Legion starting with recovery of a stash of black shot that was abandoned across the Tigeria during the retreat from Ettenmark Fields.
The commander, conferring with the remnants of the command staff, quickly assembled the best that the Legion had remaining: Lieutenant Anibhan Godbole, the medic Zai Yaryevna, the sharpshooter SIlver Dancing Storm, and the heavy Maximillian “Mercy” Brecht. Only Atuli Markesh was left in reserve to quickly arrange a camping site safe from ambush. The specialists led the Ghost Owls across the Tigeria, quickly finding an undead convoy with, among other plunder, the blackshot.

The caravan was pulled by two monstrosities of human flesh, later called the stitched by the Legion. One of the stitched had, unlike the other one, multiple heads, forever screaming, and was later named Hecatonchire by the Lieutenant. The two stitched were accompanied by two score of Blighter’s undead, nicknamed walkers by the Legion rookies. The walkers were armed and armored with the fine weaponry left by the Eastern armies at Ettenmark Fields. The Lieutenant then led the detachment ahead of the caravan to prepare an ambush, with Silver Dancing Storm (leaving her armor behind to move more quickly) was dispatched to scout out the adversary. She spotted two of their plague masked minders, similarly named vultures, and eliminated each with one shot apiece. Unlike prior encounters, their elimination did not cause the walkers to go feral, which the Lieutenant realized was due to the presence of Hecatonchire.

At the ambush site, Anibhan asked the Horned One to intercede. The Horned One acceded, turning into a large avian and launching themself at Hecatonchire. They grievously wounded the many headed abomination, and the Horned One shapeshifted to a swift and flew away before the monstrosity could respond in kind. Countless animals emerged from the forest and pecked at the other stitched, causing it to leave its post at the back of the caravan. Anibhan and the Ghost Owls distracted the majority of the walkers with a salvo and led them into prepared pit traps. The walkers were dispatched while entangled.

Zai, Mercy, and Silver Dancing Storm rushed to the carts of the caravan. Zai identified the critical black shot supplies and moved them to one cart while Mercy rigged the other carts with explosives that Anibhan had specifically requisitioned for the mission. Mercy then lashed himself to the black shot cart with the chains used by Hecatonchire and singlehandedly pulled the cart like an oxen. The remaining carts were rigged with explosives, specially requisitioned by the Lieutenant, and were detonated as the undead forces strove to regain the carts. Remnants of the walker force gave chase, nearly catching the legionnaires and causing small injuries to Zai, who saved Chevalier Lanno from a grisly fate, and Silver Dancing Storm.

After the detachment regrouped, they headed to their secondary objective: a mail cache abandoned in the chaos of the rout at Ettenmark Fields. The mail included both correspondence among the leaders of the Eastern armies as well as private letters earmarked for the Eastern nations. Each bore the Legion’s seal. Considering the Legion’s origin as the logistical hub for the Old Empire, recovery of the cache was considered of high organizational importance. Only minor resistance was faced, with Silver Dancing Storm decapitating the vulture leader and the remaining walkers eliminated in detail by the Ghost Owls.

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Tales of the Legion
The rout at Ettenmark Fields

The rout at Ettenmark Fields was a failure of intelligence. It marks the fifth time in Legion history that the Legion, at the height of its military prowess, was humbled through its reliance on its strength of arms.

When Shreya issued her first call of arms in 842 OEF, the Legion commander Boris Godunov considered, on the strong recommendation of the Lorekeeper Kapatia and the more restrained suggestion of the Marshall Trupattellen, breaking the contract at the Windward Isles in favor of joining the First Eastern Expeditionary Army, but ultimately rejected that call to arms. However, the Battle for Aldermark was not far from the minds of the Legion. The Quartermaster, with the approval of the commander, initiated a massive expansion in the ranks of the Legion, and so when the contract was completed, the Legion was ready to join the Second Eastern Expeditionary Army with over 1000 soldiers retrained in the tercio strategies pioneered by the Legion during the late Imperial age. The Legion, along with other elite units such as the Winged Lancers and the Garde Mechaniq, formed the anvil of Shreya’s battle plan and the Commander was part of Shreya’s grand council.

It was shortly before Ettenmark Fields that Shreya foreseen the Salutary path, in the same manner as she had foresaw three years earlier in the pivotal moment at the Battle of Karlsberg which snatched a stalemate from the jaws of defeat (the Legion would later be told of a third such moment months later). With the oracular statement of the Bartan Chosen, morale was high when the combined army set up in Ettenmark Fields.

Lorekeeper Kapatia died before the battle commenced. The Commander, along with the Banner Guard, was at Shreya’s command center when an unnatural fog quickly swept into the allied army position. Heretofore unknown monstrosities arose amidst the soldiers all across the battlefield, shimmering from what seemed to be freezing moonlight. The slaughter of the Second Eastern Expeditionary Army began.

The majority of Legion survivors from the massacre were from support units that did not begin the battle in the front lines. There were exceptions: Bottas Davintarm, Albon Anunsin and Conte Suderia Feri led the remnants of a few squads of Grinning Ravens to a breakout from Ettenmark Fields. Irex Tayovna was ordered by the sergeant of the Shattered Lions to retreat with their banner, which she bitterly followed, seeing the rest of the veterans lay down their lives so that she could escape. Crimson Rushing Flame of the 15th Ghost Owls managed to get lost from the rest of his squad and only felicitously ended up in the camp of the remnants of the Legion after many lost hours. Sniper Violet Flowing Tempest lost an eye in the battle and was half carried by Vettel Sebanich of the 63rd Grinning Ravens to safety. The heavy Maximillian “Mercy” Brecht outright fled from the carnage-- fortunately for him, none of those that he abandoned lived to tell that tale. And none of the 20 Ember Wolves squads were seen again.

It was not long before the Marshall, the Quartermaster, and the logistical officer Godbole arranged for the command HQ to retreat, and they were hard pressed. It was only due to the brilliant if unconventional tactics of Captain Marchesa Elena Fiammetta Luciana il Garossi, who ordered the the 20th Silver Stags into the trees to cover the retreat, that the remains of the command squad lived to regroup across the Tigeria River.

The Marshall and the Quartermaster debated whether Captain Garossi’s approach was incredibly foolhardy or merely stupid. However, when she declared that it was instead absolutely brilliant and the only reason that they survived, both were impressed by Garossi’s commanding presence and asked her to be the new Commander (in no small part because both felt ill suited to assuming the mantle themselves). Violet Flowing Tempest assumed the role of Lorekeeper, which followed in the long tradition of Lorekeepers who were at least partially blind.

One thousand two hundred and twenty four records were added to the annals that day. In the end, only thirty five soldiers arrived at the mustering point, nearly all green. The thirty who were not specialists were reorganized so that all six of the original squad types were represented. Most of the material of the Legion was also lost, though fortunately a score of smiths, tradesmen, and other laborers along with the alchemist Contessa Severina Garossi (no relation to the new commander, who was now being called Commander Squirrel due to her actions in Ettenmark Fields). The Legion camp was still in considerable chaos when Emerald Dancing Moonlight, the Horned One, arrived.

Dramatis Personae

  • Commander Marchesa Elena Fiammetta Luciana il Garossi (Fierce, Bold, Lithe, Well-kempt, Athletic)
    Commander Marchesa Elena Fiammetta Luciana il Garossi is the youngest of thirteen. Sick of her over-protective and bossy family, and completely uninterested in taking her place in the family vineyard business, she joined the Legion as soon as she was old enough. (Somehow she failed to think about the fact she would be trading one set of bosses for another.)
    A childhood spent keeping up with twelve older brothers turned out to be perfect training for the Legion and she was given her own squad to lead shortly before the Battle of Ettenmark Fields. During the battle, she ordered her squad to scale some trees and cover the retreating remnants of the Legion. The leaders of the Legion were divided over whether it was an act of incredible bravery or stupidity, but given how few people with any leadership experience at all (no matter how small) remained, she received a battlefield commendation and promotion to Commander. She also earned the sobriquet, Commander Squirrel.

  • Marshal Kentik Trupattellen (Protective, Cautious, Crisp)
    Kentik has an uncanny ability to remember names and faces, and no desire to use that ability to sway others beyond what is needed to preserve those names and faces, whether alive or, as happens too often, in memory. Straightlaced and to the point, Kentik carries out the Marshal’s duties with a keen eye for detail, sometimes surprising the troops with a personal word when all that was expected was merely a sharp nod of acknowledgement and an admonition to carry on.

  • The Quartermaster (Bartan, Precise, Resourceful, Frugal, Tired, Grizzled)
    The Quartermaster is the oldest tenured member of the legion, and he is only referred to, even in the Annals, as The Quartermaster. He has the habit of inventorying even the soldiers of the legion, referring to them by number instead of name. The soldiers of the legion are of the opinion that he is a penny-pinching bastard, and the only reason that he has a heart of gold is that he had it replaced so that there is no softness left. The command staff respect his thoroughness and ingenuity in amassing resources.
    Despite his reputation, the legion rarely has any gold in its coffers, for The Quartermaster consistently prefers to invest in practical resources that the Legion can put to immediate use.

  • Lorekeeper “One Eye” Violet Flowing Tempest (Wise, Eloquent, Young, Soft, Maimed, One-eyed)
    Violet Flowing Tempest was a sniper in the Legion before she was physically crippled in the route =at Ettenmark Fields. Ever since that day, the formerly bubbly and personable Panyar woman is now aloof and mystical, attuned to the Horned One like few others in the Legion. She also has a disconcerting way of referring to soldiers of the Legion as future members of the annals, but her recitation of the annals is well-regarded by the remaining legionnaires, for it is more humorous than the dry sermons of Lorekeeper Kapatia.

Mechanical Interlude

The Legion started with 1 intel, 1 food, 1 blackshot. 1 horses, 1 supply cart, 3 laborers, and an alchemist.

Time Passes, 4 = 3 + 1

Campaign Actions
Free 1. Liberty
Free 2. Long term project: Intensive Training Program, allows for campaign action to be spent to give two characters 1 advance each (either skill or ability). Requires someone with Educated background or Officer School ability. Three ticks are rolled, one remaining
Laborers: Supply cart, 4-clock. Requires wood. Three ticks are added.
Alchemical: Fox snuff, alchemical elixir that gives improved cognition. +1 to engagement rolls, causes lvl 1 harm (headaches). Critical success, four ticks are added, project complete.

The Legion advances to the Western Front, 5 = 4 + 1 (fortunate roll from 1 die)

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Back at camp

Even small successes can raise the spirits of the most demoralized units, and the success of the black shot raid was much needed respite for the legion, as well as making available a significant amount of powder, both blackshot and gunpowder varieties. One of the rookies, Maz Belyich, celebrated in his own fashion by combining some of each to launch one of his shoes into the air. He had brought his good friend Kyvat Danilovich to watch, but had not anticipated the additional spectator of Lieutenant Anibhan, who was checking up on each of the soldiers. Maz tried to explain that he was experimenting with a concept for a blackshot explosive, but the Lieutenant was not convinced and certainly not amused. Maz was consigned to weeklong latrine duty, though Kyvat was spared.

Missions

  • Flying Hawk - Troop Recon
    Reward: +2 Intel
    Penalty: +1 Pressure

Reports are coming in that the undead have been seen bringing cartloads of living captured refugees and corpses to the village of Platz. Find out what is happening to the people and bodies being brought here, and report back. This mission is over a day away.

  • Emerald Storm - Route Recon
    Reward: +1 Intel, -1 Time
    Penalty: +1 Pressure

The bulk of the undead forces are still trapped on the west side of the Tigeria River, thanks to the destruction of key bridges during the retreat. They have begun to commandeer river boats to ferry their troops across. Many refugees sailed across the river and abandoned their boats at Schmeker’s Landing. Your mission is to sabotage those vessels, denying their use to the undead. Assess the number and disposition of hostile forces on either side of the river. This mission is less than a day away.

  • Screaming Citadel - Recon
    Reward: +2 Intel
    Penalty: +1 Time
    Requires: Scout (this Specialist does not count against your limit)

The Horned One has reported seeing men and women riding large flying beasts in the night. They have flown East across the Tigeria, and into the foothills between The Legion and Plainsworth. It is unclear who they are or what their purpose is, but we suspect they are agents of the Broken. Find them, find out who or what they are and what they are doing. Gather any orders or intelligence that they may have on them. This mission may take several days.

Persona Dramatis

  • Atuli Markesh, Bartan Scout
    Bright and clever, Atuli attributes his success as much to divine guidance as to his own quick wits and, frankly, a little bit of luck. He has a small metal capsule hung on a chain which he uses as a dousing device when seeking divine guidance.
    Warm, Pious, Infiltrator, Scrounge 1, Scout 2, Rig 1, Shoot 1, Maneuver 2, Consort 1, Sway 1

  • Maz Beylich,Zemyati Rookie of the Star Vipers
    A resourceful but reckless soldier who had interest, but not aptitude, in the aetheric sciences.
    Bold, Stubborn, Devil’s Own Luck, Rig 2, Skirmish 1, Shoot 1, Maneuver 1, Consort 1, Sway 1

  • Contessa Severina Garossi, Orite Alchemist
    Unlike most Orites, her title is not a shallow one. She comes from a family with a large landed interest, many workshops turning out innovations, and enough wealth to have a strong guard. She is the oldest child, and would usually have taken over rulership of the County after her mother, but signed away those rights so she could pursue her passion of Aetheric Science. This was somewhat scandalous in Or, but she had no to give fucks. Her family supported her research interests, and was quite successful until the Great Breaking. When fear and paranoia about corruption started to ripple through the countryside, Contessa Severina signed on with the Legion so she could continue her work, and perhaps end the crisis that kept her from going back home to her beloved grasslands, workshop, and family.

Primary Mission Summary

The Horned One has reported seeing men and women riding large flying beasts in the night. They have flown East across the Tigeria, and into the foothills between The Legion and Plainsworth. The Marchesa, Commander of the Legion, assigned Lieutenant Godbole, the scout Atuli and the heavy Maximilian Brecht, who was ironically called Mercy, along with the Star Vipers to investigate.
The site of the reported beast activity was several days’ travel away, with dangerous Riki, a large indigenous ape, in the area. Atuli tried to lead it away, but instead was thrown from his horse, and the horse was caught and eaten by the Reiki. The squad kept their distance from the reiki, and traveled north, searching with significant difficulty for the site of the totem. The Legion searched for two days, and somehow the rookie Crimson Rushing Flame got lost and later returned to the Legion camp on his own. The Lieutenant identified the peak that the winged beasts were likely to be and the mission team went to investigate.

Atuli scouted out one of the peaks and found a coterie of six Witches (later identified as consisting of two cabals, one led by Hashi Vikenni), along with their Batbeast steeds. The Batbeasts were former birds favored by the Bartan goddess Varaza, but now seem to be ravenous monstrosities. There were in addition two shepherds with sigils marked on them, which were perverted inversion of the marks of Varaza, gathering storms instead of presaging fair weather. The witches were crafting a summoning totem, using the bones and entrails of sheep which were ravenously chewed by the batbeasts.
The mission team waited for some time until half of the witches left to get more sheep and got into the perimeter of the enemy ritual, with the witches perpetually chanting. Atuli led the expedition towards the ritual gathering, and Mercy used his extraordinary strength to throw a grenade into the ritual pillars, destroying the pillar of bone and wounding the witches and a batbeast. The remaining witches go to confront Mercy while the rest of the team goes into the witch’s camp.The witches invoked a curse at Mercy, who bravely ran away.

Atuli riflds through their tent and triggered a hex, suffering from unnatural warrior wasp stings, as his reliquary burns. Maz Belyich and the Lieutenant managed to net one of the shepherds and the team manhandled the shepherd away from the other, who looks blankly at the squad
Although the expedition managed to regroup, they were heavily pursued in their flight back to camp at Plainsworth. . As they neared a trail through the last woods north of Plainsworth, the witches caught up to the group and Hashi Vikenni cursed Versta Kunyart and Ansunhin Parandi. The two were driven into an unnatural rage and came to blows. Maz Belyich interposed himself between the two and was run through, absorbing the curse.
As the shepherd is taken to camp, his movements dulled even more noticeably. The Lieutenant, the medic Zai Yaryevna, and the Lorekeeper study the shepherd and found that the sigils tattooed into his body are a perversion of Varaza’s sigils of protection. Spiritually, the shepherd was already dead. Mercy took upon himself to excise the sigils in a most unpleasant manner, which breaks the last shreds of non-automatic motion of the shepherd, rendering him into a catatonia. Mercy then disposed of the shepherd. The Star Vipers had started the practice of calling those like the shepherd to be Meat Puppets.

Other Mission Summary

  • Emerald Storm
    Silver Dancing Storm, with the aid of the Ghost Owls, ambushed a squadron of Blighter’s troops, with Silver Dancing Storm earned another notch (a stitched). After eliminating the squad, the sniper and the Ghost Owls rigged the boats with explosives and return safely without any casualties.

  • Flying Hawk
    The Horned One reported that villagers, captured by Breaker’s witches, were impaled on stakes were invigorated with lightning to create lightning crackling constructs of Breaker. Called the Singed by the Lorekeeper.

Campaign Phase
Campaign Phase

  • Screaming Citadel and Emerald Storm were successful. Flying Hawk was aborted. Rewards: 3 Intel -1 Time. Penalties: 1 Pressure

  • Campaign action: Liberty action performed

  • Campaign action: The Long Term Project, Officer’s school, is complete

  • Alchemy campaign action: Contessa Garossi began research on Black shot grenades research begun

  • The laborers complete a supply cart and begin crafting another.

  • The Commander orders an advance to Plainsworth. The Legion make good time (one horse used to reduce pressure roll to 2 dice, with lucky roll) and arrive at Plainsworth (at time 7)

Musical Interlude (Back at Camp)

Maz Beylich was the first, but not the last, Legionnaire to die on the long retreat to Skydagger Keep. His best friend, Kyvat Danilovich, composed and sang the following at Maz Beylich’s memorial.

(To the tune of “The Ballad of Billy the Kid” by Billy Joel)

From a small fishing town known as Karlskronna
Rode a boy with a six-gun in his hand
And his daring in Aldermark’s grime
Made him a legend in his time
East and West of the Tigeria

Well he started with a shoe outside of Karlsberg
In the heel a blackshot charge he hid,
And the explosion and the fire took the lieutenant by surprise
And word spread of Maz Belyich

Well he never traveled heavy
And he never rode alone
And he soon put other older guns to shame
And he never had a sweetheart
And he never had a home
But the officer and the medic knew his name

Well he fought his way towards the Screaming Citadel
And he threw a grenade at a beastbat bearing down
And it served his legend well
For the troops they’d love to tell 'bout when Maz Beylich came to town

Well one cold day the squad got hexed by Breaker’s witch
And he gave his life to save two others, yes he did
And the squadies and the staff, came pourin’ in to watch the funeral of Maz Beylich

Well he never traveled heavy
And he never rode alone
And he soon put other older guns to shame
And he never had a sweetheart
But he finally found a home
Underneath the boot hill grave that bears his name

From a small fishing town known as Karlskronna
Rode a boy with a six-pack in his hand
And his daring in Aldermark’s grime
Made him a legend in his time
East and West of the Tigeria

Players note: Maz Beylich was the first rookie that was played by the PC, and as one of those Devil’s Own Luck characters, made a lot of impressive resists. The task force had almost escaped from the witches when, during the final roll to fill the final clock to complete the mission, we got a risky consequence involving the death of two rookies. The specialists by this point where in pretty bad shape, and the player playing Maz had a chance to be the hero-- all he needed was a 5 or 6 in 5 dice to survive. And that is how the first entry of the annals was added. All of us felt that this episode was about Maz, starting from the Back at Camp scene from the previous mission to his final sacrifice…

Mission Briefings

Broken Storm - Supply - Mercenary Work
Rewards: +1 Box Food. +1 Supply.
Penalty: None.

After the Legion arrives in Plainsworth, an agent of the Legion slips into the camp. Antoinette explains to Commander Squirrel that she had an arrangement with the previous Commander, and will continue to serve under the Marchessa if she wishes to continue that arrangement.

She says that Plainsworth is rife with refugees passing through fleeing the Cinder King’s armies, and that bandits that have been attracted to these relatively loaded and easy pickings. Moreover, some of the survivors of Ettenmark Field have also turned to looting and taking what they need from those who can’t protect themselves.

Antoinette’s found a local landowner with extensive holdings outside Plainsworth, Grisynn Bauer. Grisynn has offered several bushels of grain and cured meats, as well as your pick of other useful supplies from her farmsteads in exchange for escorting her, her family, and her wagons past the worst of the opportunists. Three days out, three days back. (Supplies will just barely cover this.)

Crimson Peak - Route Recon
Reward: +2 Intel.
Penalty: 1 Death. (Bandits will eliminate a member of the Legion during Liberty.)

Commander Squirrel quickly grasps that Antoinette mostly brought opportunities to the previous Commander where she had some way to personally profit from the transaction. She seems to be eminently well informed about what is really happening on the ground in Plainsworth, and Violet Flowing Tempest affirms to the Commander that the Legion Annals record AntoinetteAnotoinette to be honest and extremely capable, in the estimate of the previous Commander.

Squirrel is concerned about what impact bandits might have on operations in the area, and spends several hours with Antoinette over maps discussing what she’s seen and where. In the end, the two conclude that though many of the incidents are unconnected, there is at least one group of raiders that seems disturbingly well armed, well informed, and well coordinated.

It sounds as if they make extensive use of trails in the woods to the northeast and mountains to the east. There have also been a number of disappearances of soldiers in Plainsworth. Too many to be accounted for even by the chaos of the retreat from Ettenmark Field, or even by mass desertions among units where morale is shattered. Antoinette suspects these are advanced agents of the bandits systematically removing troops when their guard is down, softening their future targets.

Based on the operational patterns of the bandits, Commander Squirrel assesses several locations that the bandits could be using as base camps. Your mission is to assess those locations for bandit presence, and to chart the trails through the forest for possible egress when The Legion leaves Plansworth. Capturing or killing targets of opportunity is encouraged.

Amber Wolf - Supply
Rewards: +2 Morale, The Tentari Banner
Penalty: None.

Lorekeeper Violet Flowing Tempest has scoured The Annals of the Legion and discovered that an important object from The Legion’s past may be nearby. The Tantari banner, the original symbol of the Legion’s authority, was lost during the Aldermark Pretender Wars. It was granted to the Marshal of the Legion at its founding by the Seventh Emperor, Tantarus.

After the Great Breaking three years ago, Stormbreaker, broken avatar of the Bartan weather goddess Vazara, set up a dig site to look for it before they were driven west of the Tigeria by the widespread use of Black Shot. There are reports of peasants working day and night at the old dig site. The mission is to finish the dig, while fending off any challengers.

Intelligence Questions

  1. Are there any contacts (local allies, guards, police, etc.) of ours or Grisynn’s within the Plainsworth area that can lend aid to the mission?

The Legion certainly does not have any allies in Plainsworth. You’re from far away, and the Aldermani don’t like the remnants of the Old Empire, generally speaking. Grisynn has many contacts in the area, but seems to be using them to protect her interests. She seems to have prioritized using her local influence to protect her assets and her people as they wind down farms and prepare to evacuate, and what she has was stretched thin enough that she had to hire mercenaries to get everything she needed protected/done.

Grisynn’s caravan is about a dozen assorted carts and wagons (1 Supply Wagons). Each wagon has a driver and most have a farmhand riding “shotgun”, except they just have regular muskets. So, you’re looking at about 20 (a large group) of Threat 1 folks. Grisynn’s eldest son Deikart usually manages the farmhands. You think they’re likely to defer to your authority and expertise when it comes to safety, though it couldn’t hurt to build some rapport with them before there’s any trouble, just to ensure things go smoothly.

  1. What is the benefit to the Legion of acquiring the Tantari Banner?

The Banner has great symbolic significance to the Legion, and recovering it will bring significant boost to morale. It can be used 5 times to negate the morale penalty of a legionnaire’s death.

  1. What are the weaknesses of the Infamous Stitched? The Infamous Stitched is meticulous about its own upkeep. It is known to collect recently dead bodies, either from the battlefield, or to go so far as to dig up recent graves, in order to find fresh parts for “repairs”. It has metal plates riveted to its body, so it is hard for Black Shot to have full impact on it. Perhaps very precise shots or an injector would get around this? It is powerful, and even survived an encounter with the Horned One. It seems to have high confidence against human troops, and presses attacks somewhat recklessly. Except in situations where there are strong fortifications and no fresh bodies on hand. It seems to want to avoid being heavily damaged and not have resources to fix that. The vultures it travels with are the ones who do the actual surgical / alchemical procedures. We suspect it may make private use of alchemical supplies that are intended for its superiors.

  2. How can we help the Horned One ameliorate the breaking of Nyx?

Nyx Broke when her Chosen Broke. The Horned One does not understand how it is possible to Break a Chosen, but thinks the first step to repairing it is to understand what happened. The most helpful thing would be to find and capture Shadowbinder, Nyx’s avatar. Short of that, it would be helpful to have something with strong sympathetic resonance to Nyx. A piece of the moon that has fallen to the Earth, a relic tied to the goddess, etc. Alternately, observing the other Broken to see if they reveal the secret of how they became as they are. Capturing one of them to experiment on or interrogate seems dangerous but possibly fruitful. Destroying the Cinder King may also fix the problem.

Personae Dramatis

  • “Feathers” Frost Slicing Star, Rookie
    Frost Slicing Star was raised almost exclusively near the frontier, with very little civilizing input. She acts like one of the guys, a point she attempts to drive home on every occasion.Especially among the rough and ready, she is well liked and popular, recognized by her swagger, enthusiasm, and her amiability, and loves to chit chat and drink with all around her. She loves cooking, and though the taste of her food may not be the best, her presentation is excellent and she is quite skilled at the use of herbs to improve the fragrance of food. She also is known to use mild natural hallucinogens for more challenging ingredients to improve the palatability of slightly spoiled or difficult ingredients. Her Panyar mark is the feathers that seem to be hair extensions, and she earned her third name from her travels to Mount Hoggar, where she claims to have touched a star.
    Shrewd Traveler. Home Cooking. Scout 2, Shoot 1, Maneuver 1, Skirmish 1, Consort 2

  • Vettel Sebanich, Rookie
    Vettel’s longevity in the Legion is due to a bit of luck and a lot of determination. Before he joined the Grinning Ravens, he worked at the docks for years, so he is pretty easygoing though there is a new edge to his barking laugh since Ettenmark.
    Tough, Bold. Devil’s Own Luck. Rig 1, Skirmish 2, Shoot 1, Maneuver 1, Consort 1, Discipline 1.

  • Silver Dancing Storm, Sniper.
    She has notched multiple kills and is eager to add more to her tally. Silver Dancing Storm recognizes Feathers as a possible protege.
    Cunning, Ruthless, Expert Shot.

*Lieutenant Anirbhan, Officer
Highest ranking officer within the Legion, has led two prior missions on the road to Skydagger Keep. Cautious and focused on the objectives.
Educated, Earnest, Practical.

*Pakunas
Large predatory felines found in Aldermark. They hunt in large packs (~20) and each are individually smaller than human, but collectively quite dangerous. They are extremely aggressive in their territory, with multiple alphas per pack based on that aggressiveness. They are carrion-eaters as well. They live between the treeline between plains and forest, and are themselves prey to large predatory birds of the plains and the Reikei in the forest. They are nocturnal and often sleep in trees (and have excellent agility among trees). Loud noises can disconcert them. Their flesh is touch and strongly ureaic, but their furs have some value.

  • “Mercy” Maximilian Brecht
    Notorious within the Legion as someone not to cross, Mercy does the Legion’s dirty work.
    Cold, Cruel, Explosives Handler

Mission After Action Reports

Broken Storm

The Legion arrived at Plainsworth battered but not broken, and sought out mercenary contracts in order to restock the depleted Quartermaster stores. Due to the Legion’s poor reputation in Aldermark, the only opportunity that presented itself was an escort mission. Grisynn , a significant land owner with estates south of Plainsworth, was seeking to evacuate her goods to the east towards Westlake, and needed to make great haste due to the rapid advance of Blighter’s forces. A task force led by the Lieutenant was dispatched, along with Silver Dancing Storm and the Grinning Ravens to guide the caravan to safety.
The Legion made contact with Grisynn’s wranglers and made good time despite the racket of the assembled convoy, including the cacophony of a wagon of chickens. After settling to camp for the first night, the convoy encountered a desperate band of refugees from Karlsberg. The Lieutenant foresaw the possibility of a riot or theft by the refugees, and so dispatched “Feathers” Frost Slicing Sta to hail the refugees and bear offerings to the leader of the refugees, a priest of Gerholtz. It was the Chosen of Gerholtz that previously had been Broken and there was lingering uncertainty among the faithful of these broken gods. Feathers’ offering was well received, but was not enough to share among all of the refugees. Some of the refugees made to steal from the caravan, but Vettel apprehended them and gave them a gentle beating before seeing them on their way.
The Lieutenant surveyed the possible routes and maneuvered to a path deep into the woods in order to dissuade the refugees to follow. However, the convoy found tracks of pakunas, a large predatory feline. SIlver Dancing Storm led the Grinning Ravens in a hunt for the pakunas and found them napping. Volleys of gunfire showered down on the animals, killing most of the pakunas. A couple made it through to the Grinning Ravens and nearly eviscerated the Conte Suderia Feri, before Vettel beat the feline down. The Grinning Ravens brought the bodies of many of the pakunas to camp, and they are transported along with the rest of the convoy.
A day before arriving at Grcwynn’s rendezvous point, the convoy arrives at a shrine of Gerholtz. Most of the pakuna flesh (which is tough and redolent of urea) are left there, with only the pelts retained. The Lieutenant tries to make an offering with the pakuna flesh, but gets a severe premonition of fear and his reliquary catches on fire. Some poor quality pakuna jerky is brought back to camp for those desperate enough for meat.
The convoy arrives at its destination safely, and Grisynn repays the legion with a wagon of food and a banker’s note. Feathers would later successfully trade the pakuna pelts for a variety of foreign (by Aldermari standards) food stuffs that was well appreciated by the multinational forces of the Legion.

Amber Wolf (secondary mission)

The heavy Mercy was sent with the Shattered Lions on the critical mission to recover the Tantari banner from the dig site that Breaker had initiated prior to their discovery by the Second Eastern Army. The squad found that the dig site was in fact a cemetery and shrine dedicated to Mattias the Maker near an Aldermani village.
The local Aldermani were suspicious of the Legion and balked at the arrival Legion soldiers.The Aldermaini in the end stood down due to the intimidating stare of the corporal of the Shattered Lions, Irex “Honeybadger” Tayovna and the hardness of Mercy and the Shattered Lions, who were handpicked for calmness in the face of danger.
While most of the squad surveyed the prior excations, which defiled the far eastern part of the cemetery that held primarily foreigners, Albon Anunsin (who as the kid of the squad was assigned lookout duty) noted a strangely familiar Dar inscription on one of the family mausoleums. The phrase “Witness Bearer” is part of the Legion’s credo, and Albon, acting on a hunch, opened the casket which had the inscription. Underneath the embalmed Aldermani corpse, who the Lorekeeper later confirmed was the corporal of the Shattered Lions during the Aldermani Pretender Wars, was a tube containing the Tantari Banner.
When the squad tried to leave with the Tantari Banner, a meat puppet stationed at the village managed to tip off the coven led by Hashi Vikenni, and the squad was ambushed before it could return to the Legion camp. The beastbat ridden by the witch Kevani Mahnushin carried off Midnight Cascading Thunder, and his remains were later found a mile away, dropped from a significant height. The rest of the squad fought back, killing several meat puppet auxiliaries, with Mercy throwing a grenade that slew the witch Adikar Dewa, though not before receiving significant shrapnel damage from the close range of the blast. The squad managed to escape in the confusion, though not before the witch Hashi Vikenni laid a curse on Intendent Alidraius Orate, who tore his own eyes out and died during the retreat.
Mercy, Corporal Irex, and the rest of the Shattered Lions were praised for bringing back the revered Tantari Banner, but Admattus Torio Rosso felt only bitterness over the loss of his squad brethren. He deserted from the legion and is suspected of being recruited by the bandits of Crimson Peak.

Back At Camp

The Lieutenant approached the Horned One, asking about his concerns about a contact with the Aldermani shrine. The Horned One sniffed Lieutenant and was revulsed, flying away. All of the stress that Lieutenant had held flooded right back. The Lieutenant sought out the counsel of the Lorekeeper, and she brought up that although it is possible that it could be jealousy between the Gods, the more likely result is that the Horned One sensed the Cinder King’s taint from his interaction with the altar. The Lieutenant asked for discretion on the manner, and so the Lorekeeper sealed this account until after the siege of Skydagger Keep.

Campaign Phase

Primary mission Broken Storm is successful, food and a unit of supply were received in payment.
Secondary mission Amber Wolf is successful, with the loss of two legionnaires. Morale improved and the Tantari Banner is again in Legion hands, after its loss over a hundred years ago.

Tertiary mission Crimson peak was ignored. Result in desertion of a legionnaire (Admattus Torio Rosso of the Shattered Lions), and bandits are gaining in strength.

Time progressed, Morale 9, Time Summer 8, Pressure 1

Quartermaster procured many assets, including horses, religious supplies, corrupted alchemist Amber Bubbling Spring, expending all supply

Quartermaster dispatched Frost Slicing Star to get food. She manages to trade supplies and pakuna furs for very fine victuals which are particularly suited for all members of the Legion

Laborers complete third supply cart, begin crafting a ballista.
Alchemist complete work on Black Shot grenades.
The Legion stays in Plainsworth…

Tales of the Legion

After four legionnaires were struck from the rolls, the Lorekeeper told the story of the Legion’s Founding, and filled the ranks with the desire for the glory of yesteryear. The tales are in another post.

Mission Opportunities

Azure Pakuna - Religious - Unearth
Rewards: +2 Morale. Relic: Alicja’s Anvil - +10 Points.
Penalties: -1 Morale.

The Star Vipers take the initiative to canvas Plainsworth for rumors, legends, and information about sacred sites, burial grounds, relics of the Chosen, and so forth. Despite the general acrimony toward the Legion among the Aldermani, Reeve Emilias (the Lesser) makes some friends while watching a pair of bulls goaded into goring one another to death. (It’s certainly not the elegant sport practiced by Orite gentlefolk!) They talk about an ancient cairn in the mountains where one of the Smith god’s chosen was laid to rest.

Your mission is to survey the area to find the cairn, ascertain its true nature, and recover any parts of relics of the Chosen there interred.

Shattered Fortress - Assault - Undead
Rewards: +2 Morale. +1 Intel.
Penalties: -1 Supply. (Attacks against the Legion escalate, and more resources must be spent to keep a stable position.)
Requires: Scout (You must have a Scout for this mission, and the Scout does not count against your 2 Specialist per mission limit.)

Walkers have been making a series of strikes against concentrated positions of humans: refugees, bandit camps, and The Legion’s fortified position outside Plainsworth. They appear to be collecting the living, putting them in carts, and taking them to the Southwest. Your mission is to find where they are taking the living, figure out what is happening on site, stop whatever process they are using the living for, and destroy whatever undead are responsible.

Grasping Falcon - Religious
Rewards: 1 Religious Supplies. All Specialists on the mission mark +2 xp. Specialist: Heavy (+2 actions). 1 Mystic Favor.
Penalties: None.

Voyis Kariyevich, the Kingfisher Knight, is renowned for his skill in battle. He’s said to be cursed, and rather than inflict this on others, he retired nearby to the southern mountain range to spend his days in contemplation, tending a local holy site. If he could be swayed to join and be cleansed, his expertise in combat would surely be a huge benefit to the Legion.

Intel questions

  1. What item would be useful for Grasping Falcon?
    In addition to reliquaries for dealing with the curse on the Kingfisher Knight, Voyis has been isolated in the shrine for a long time. Fresh food is likely to be greatly appreciated.

  2. What is a weakness of the witches?
    Witches are made by having a part of Breaker put into them. If you can find and locate the part, you can break the connection. The witches are also not acting of their own volition. If you sever the connection,you may be able to free the connection temporarily.

  3. What is the provenance of the curse on the Kingfisher Knight?
    Cursed by a witch Rehika Chabarti shortly after the Great Breaking (3 years). There is almost certainly a personal connection between Voyis and the witch that cursed him-- Voyis was knighted Or, known as a great warrior, most of his repute was built on defeating pirates. The witch used to be the priestess of the ship Calypso, was a seaborne bounty hunter. It is likely that the witch can lift the curse if they choose, and also there are different rituals that can be used, would require research or finding the right contact. Also sacred places to perform the ritual. The curse first manifested in battle, he slew all of his men.

  4. Where can we find the fragments of the moon described in prior intelligence?
    The moon fragments were seen falling in the Talgon Forest. There are rumors of strange animals in the area.

Mission After Action Reports

The Kingfisher Knight-- Grasping Falcon

During the Battle of Aldermark in 843 OEF, a renowned weaponmaster by the name of Voyis Kariyevich fought under the banner of Vlaisim the Shining One, before Vlaisim was Broken and turned into the monstrous Bonerender.Voyis had been previously knighted by Or for services rendered in fighting pirates as a bounty hunter. As captain of the ship Calypso along with Rehika Charbati, priestess of Vazara, he had hunted down the infamous pirate Yellowbeard and earned the epithet the Kingfisher Knight.

When Minika Arya was Broken at the Battle of Aldermark, Rehika was corrupted and cursed Voyis with hallucinatory sight. He became unable to distinguish many men from undead abominations, and during the battle slew all of his men. Stricken with fear and guilt in the aftermath, he fled from the battle, crossing the Tigeria and, in his wandering, found a shrine to Gerholtz and served as its protector while keeping apart from other people. During this time,encounters with him varied drastically, for not every pilgrim who came to the shrine looked like an abomination to Voyis.

Silver Dancing Storm led the Grinning Ravens to the shrine in order to recruit Voyis to the Legion. She was also accompanied by the medic Zai Yaryevna and the scout Atuli Markesh. They found the shrine to Gerholtz under a tree canopy, near displays of hunting trophies and racks of javelins and bows. Voyis, in his gold and silver uniform from the Battle of Aldermark, saw the Legion delegation as undead abominations and shouted at them, “Undead scum, stay back or I will kill you!”

Zai and Frost Slicing Star (Feathers) approached the Kingfisher Knight and assured them that they were not undead. Voyis was uncertain, cognizant of his difficulty in telling friend from foe, and tried to intimidate the group down from the hill on which the shrine sat. Zai, Feathers, Vettel Sebanich, and Silver Dancing Storm were close to convincing Voyis of a parlay, when Voyis spotted the other members of the Grinning Ravens, saw them as plagued Walkers, yelled “Watch out!”, and charged the Grinning Ravens with lethal intent. Vettel interposed his body, and was slammed to the earth by the enormous Voyis.

It took the entire squad of the Grinning Ravens to wrestle him down and it was only with great fortune and the relatively emaciated state of the Kingfisher Knight that there were no casualties in the act. Zai convinced the Kingfisher Knight that the Legion knew of a way to break the curse on him and swore a Zemyati blood oath that she would not rest until she found a way to lift the curse.
Voyis joined the legionnaires in a feast, headlined by the spicy Byeka stew, a delicacy from Zemya, specially prepared by Feathers. The legion informs Voyis of the aftermath of the Battle of Karlsberg and the Breaking of Vlaisim and Minika Arya, and Voyis noted that one of Breaker’s batbeasts has been sighted regularly in the area.

Zai found reference to a dawntime ritual of sacrifice to Gerhotz and adapted it, using the curse as the offering to the hunter god. Due to the presence of the relic Farsight, the unerring relic of a long forgotten Chosen of Gerholtz, there was enough mystical quintessence to trigger the ritual and break the curse. Afterwards, Atuli used his dousing reliquary to recognize Farsight. Voyis took possession of Farsight and pledged his loyalty to the Legion.

Silver Dancing Storm then led the legion to track down the Batbeast that was surveilling Voyis and shot it through the heart. The remainder of the squad wrestled down the witch that was riding it, who was later confirmed (by Hashi Vikenni) to be Rehika Chabarti. Somehow the witch was able to plead to the Legion to slay her and end her suffering. Zai acceded and tried to perform the theorized surgery, digging into the Witch’s collarbone and extracting a piece of flesh that is said to be from Breaker herself. The witch bled out from the operation, thanking Zai with her final breath.

Azure Pakuna
Prior to the official endorsement of the mission and the involvement of Lieutenant Anirbhan, the Star Vipers had already conducted significant investigation of the source for Alicja’s Anvil. Between the charm of Reeve Emilias (the Lesser), and the investigations of sergeant Ansundin Parandi and Versta Kunyart, the Star Vipers had found the burial cairn where the anvil was likely to be. The Lieutenant had ascertained that the Anvil was a relic of the Godwar that had previously crossed paths with the Legion, and led the Star Vipers into the cairn.

The Lieutenant vaguely remembers the traps and other obstacles on the way to recovering the anvil, but it was after its recovery that disaster struck. While Crimson Rushing Flame was standing watch, the rest of the Star Vipers experimented with the anvil, attracting the attention of wraiths. The Lieutenant, who had been deciphering some glyphs away from the Star Vipers, recognized the danger and tried to warn them before Reeve Emilias the Lesser, Ansundin Parandi, and Versta Kunyart were electrocuted by wraiths. The Lieutenant and Crimson Rushing Flame fled and barely escaped, with the Lieutenant absorbing a near lethal curse.

It was later discovered that the coven led by Hashi Vikenni had discovered the Star Viper’s activity through Meat Puppet spies. When the Star Vipers experimented with the Anvil, their strikes caused sparks which the wraiths that accompanied the coven were able to channel and allowed them to project into the cairn and kill the three Star Vipers. The coven then pursued the two survivors, with Hashi nearly killing the Lieutenant with a withering curse.

Back to Camp

Crimson Rushing Flame, the lone survivor of the Star Vipers, despairs, and is comforted by Kyvat.

Gained Voyis Kareyvich, a Heavy who is a renowned weaponmaster, a minor relic, Farslayer, that can be turned into religious supplies, and
Lost 3 morale (2 from penalties, 1 from death, 2 morale loss averted through use of the Tantari Banner), ending at morale 6

Campaign Phase

Pressure 2, TIme advances to 9
Campaign Actions
Liberty is declared, morale to 8.
Laborers complete Siege Weapon, begins work on another siege weapon
Alchemists prepare more Foxsnuff
Promotions: Feathers to Soldier.

Mission Briefings

Amber Storm - Supply - Mercenary Work.
Rewards: +3 Supply.
Penalties: -1 Morale

Plainsworth has begun to suffer acts of sabotage. Several homes and a tavern have been burnt down in the night. (Thankfully the town is made of stone from the nearby hills, so it did not spread.) A well has been contaminated. The command staff suspects that Meat Puppets are infiltrating the city imitating refugees, and/or witches are entering by subterfuge, magical domination, or flight. The local authorities are offering a large reward if the Legion can locate and destroy whatever adversaries are within the city, and demonstrate proof that they have done so.

Chosen Tiger - Supply - Mercenary Work.
Rewards: +3 Supply.
Penalties: -1 Morale.

The bandits in the woods to the northeast have increased in number. Word is that it is very hard to make it to Sunstrider Camp without paying “tolls” at best, or being violently set upon at worst. The city of Plainsworth is offering a large bounty to any force that can clear the woods of the bandits. They don’t care how it is done, treachery, diplomacy, force, and any other means you can come by, so long as the city and those trying to trade with it or leave it are no longer beset by the living.

Shattered Arrow - Assault
Rewards: +2 Morale. 5 Rookie recruits. +1 Intel.
Penalties: -1 Morale.

A stitched that the troops have taken to calling “Red Hook” for the large, bloody hook it uses to catch and drag men around has been doing nighttime raids on local settlements, capturing people, and keeping them in cages. A nearby village that Plainsworth used to regularly trade with is currently being used to hold these captives before they are taken for undead conversion. A rapid raid would reunite local friends and families, likely net volunteers for the Legion, and provide insight into what the Broken were planning for them.

Intel questions

  1. What is the highest threat among the missions?
    The highest threat on these missions:
    Amber Storm & Chosen Tiger - 2
    Shattered Arrow - 3

  2. We want to try to see if we can capture and free a witch. In order to lure them to us, what instincts and cravings of Witches can we take advantage of?
    Witches tend to “play with their food”. They want to make people mistrust their reality, lose hope, and lose control; ideally; before the coup de grace. This is both a tactic for weakening a target before attacking it, but also pathology. Giving them pristine targets to sully may be compelling, and certainly they can take longer to deal with a target because of their proclivity than other more direct and brutal forces.

  3. What’s the main weakness of the undead’s position on Shattered Arrow?
    The main weakness of the undead’s position in Shattered Arrow is that their camp is set up to a) contain those who have been captured and b) facilitate throughput of captives to processing centers. This is to say that a lot more defenses/personnel look inward than outward, and a large proportion of their personnel are involved in acquisition and transfer of captives rather than guarding or defending their position.

Intel 3: What equipment, allies, and other goods would be useful in the defense of Skydagger Keep?
Useful at Skydagger:

  • Laborers
  • Siege Weapons
  • Squads
  • Specialists
  • Chosen
  • Mercy
  • Alchemist
  • Artifacts & Relics (assorted)
  • Time
  • Supplies
  • Annals

Bonus: The Horned One reports that witches have identified a number of locations that they are sending Breaker’s minions to. They are performing rituals on small villages. Lorekeeper cross-references these locations, and they correlate to locations of religious significance.

Personae Dramatis

  • Voyis Kareyvich, the Kingfisher Knight
    A renowned weaponmaster, Voyis had been knighted by the Royal Orite Navy for his actions as a privateer and bounty hunter, particularly his capture of Yellowbeard. He was part of the First Eastern Army, and was cursed by his friend and former shipmate, the Bartan priestess Rehika Chabarti. He had stood vigil at a shrine of Gerholtz. After the Legion lifted his curse, Voyis swore the legion’s oath and joined as a heavy. He carries Farslayer, a relic bow found at his shrine, which aids hunters in stalking their prey.
    Tough, Loyal. Weaponmaster, Anchor 1, Rig 2, Wreck 1, Skirmish 3, Maneuver 1, Discipline 1, Sway 1

  • “Feathers” Frost Slicing Star, Grinning Ravens
    Recently promoted to Soldier as a trained Cavalrywoman.
    Friendly, Clever, Energetic.

  • Vettel Sebanich, Rookie
    Recently promoted to Soldier, ready to go over the top.
    Tough, Protective, Bold.

  • Silver Dancing Storm, Sniper.
    Recently had One Eye surgery, performed by Zai, Contessa Garossi, and Amber Bubbling Bubbling and eager to try out the newly crafted ballista.
    Cunning, Ruthless, Expert Shot.

  • Atuli Markesh
    Ready for anything, he instructed the Ember Wolves in the art of guerrilla fighting
    Infiltrator, carefree, religious

  • Red Hook
    A particularly large Stitched, Red Hook had one of its limbs destroyed and replaced by a steam powered grappling hook. They have been seen using the grappling hook to climb up walls or capture enemies.

  • Dame Arora Sanici, Alchemist
    An alchemist who was convinced to join the legion, but with the condition that the legion first fund her research into the recovery of memories from the deceased, a project that the Quartermaster has labeled in his records as the “stupid project”.

  • Kalikya Chbarti, Mercy
    Kalikya had been part of Shreya’s command squad and was one of the many individuals who got separated when the Second Eastern Army was shattered. She tried and failed to rendezvous with Shreya in Plainsworth, and had arrived only after Shreya had already gone north along the Long Road. In resignation, she had been healing wounded veterans who had made their way to Plainsworth. Feathers’ talk with Kalikya helped the mercy regain a sense of purpose, and she joined the Legion with hopes of meeting up with Shreya’s contingent.

Mission Summary

Shattered Arrow
With the end of summer approaching, the undead forces were increasingly brazen in the depredations around the town of Plainsworth. Blighter began a series of raids capturing whole villages just a few days ride south of Plainsworth. Commander Squirrel received intel that the villagers were being funneled and processed in the village of Wodz, guarded by the infamous stitched Red Hook. A task force was sent with the goal of determining the purpose of the detention facility at Wodz, freeing the Aldermani captured there, and sabotaging the camp so that it can no longer be used by the enemy. Feathers, along with the rest of the Grinning Ravens, was sent along with the Kingfisher Knight and the sniper Silver Dancing Storm.
The legionnaires arrived at the village of Trakai on the way to Wodz, where Silver Dancing Storm, with her alchemical One Eye, detected traces of undead corruption. The squad discovered a nest of vultures operating out of a barn in the town. The vultures are flushed out and eliminated, and a map is discovered in the vultures’ possession showing the local towns along with sortie paths and population counts, with several known destroyed villages crossed out on the map.
One of Blighter’s dominator squads was intercepted at the nearby village of Druskininkai. From an ambush position centered around a barn in the town, the enemy force of a stitched, two squads of walkers and two crows were engaged with ballista and blackshot fire. The Kingfisher Knight slew the crows with the bow relic Farsight, while the stitched fell to fire from the ballista and a close quarters engagement by the Grinning Ravens led by the charge of Vettel Sebanich.
The detention center at Wodz was fortified against escape, not from attack, as by this point the regional militias defending Plainsworth were no longer capable of force projection. However, initial scouting by Feathers and Silver Dancing Storm sighted Red Hook and a score of undead, so an unusual approach was taken to get within engagement range without alerting the enemy.
Sebanich and the Kingfisher Knight rigged the slain stitched into a macabre marionette, nailed to a cart attached to a sail boom and enveloped with a holocaust cloak. Even the arms could be manipulated through a counter weight system. The contraption, christened Burny, served as the Legion’s Tarjan Horse to the camp. Burny allowed the legionnaires to approach within ballista range of Red Hook, allowing the squadron to land a shot into its shoulder.
The undead charged, but were scattered when Sebanich pushed a burning Burny into the undead formation. He was nearly gutted by Red Hook, but Silver Dancing Storm managed a killing shot through Red Hook’s torso. The Kingfisher Knight singlehandedly laid waste to over a dozen undead in a masterclass of weapon mastery that had pushed forward of the stitched bonfire, and the remaining undead fell to concentrated blackshot. The Kingfisher Knight appropriated the eponymous red hook as a trophy of the conquest.
It was discovered that Wodz was an alchemical research laboratory for Blighter, developing Blighters which were encountered in the months to come. Blighter’s reasearch notes and maps of her force’s movements in the areas surrounding Plainsworth led to the Legion’s evacuation from the area shortly after mission end. In all, 231 Aldermani prisoners were freed, and several would later join the Legion.

Chosen Tiger
Atuli and the Ember Wolves launched a series of guerrilla attacks on bandits, slaying many bandits. The bandits in the direction of a retreat from Plainsworth became disorganized, allowing for the legion as well as many refugees to flee to the northeast.

Amber Storm
A retired Bartan soldier had run an inn in Plainsworth. That tavern was destroyed by saboteurs. Commander Squirrel is not optimistic about Plainsworth’s chances for survival.

Back at camp
A Plainsworth refugee found at Shattered Arrow tells of unsubstantiated rumors of Broken troops and experiments. Claims to have spotted what we know as Batbeasts, Belchers, and various other unknown monstrosities, such as animal chimeras and dog-like amalgams. Aquidith Marcade Vilado expresses doubts about the veracity of these claims, but the Commander insists on hearing out the refugee. Later, the Marshal had words with Aquidith Marcade Vilado.

Mission rewards: 5 Rookies, +1 Morale, +1 Int, 3 Supply

Campaign Actions
Alchemist recruited by Contessa Severina, requests “stupid” project before working on new projects.
Mercy Kalyika Chabarti recruited by Feathers
Rest and Recuperation
Officer Training, two rookies to soldiers. (Bottas Davintar, Irex Tayovna)

Workers start of Memorial Train (6 clock)
Alchemists start on stupid project, progress is slow.

TIme advances to 10, pressure to 3.
Commander orders advance to Sunstrider Camp. Pressure = 3 - 2 (Horses), time roll is 4, for end time 12.

Promotions: Feathers to Scout, Irex to Soldier, Bottas to Soldier

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Mission Briefings

Amber Peak - Assault
Rewards: +2 Morale. If Falka is killed, gain: +2 Supply. 1 Horses (3 uses). If Falka is allied with, gain: -1 Time. Pressure does not increase.
Penalties: None.

Falka — a self-styled bandit queen — has a camp up in the western mountains. From there, she has access to both the western and eastern roads and preys on many. If she could be reasoned with, the bandits could be an asset against the undead. Dead, her raids on refugees would end, and it would free up Tsaga’s soldiers from bandit duty.

Shattered Tiger - Assault
Rewards: +2 Morale. +1 Intel.
Penalties: +1 Pressure.

As the Legion comes to the Sunstrider Camp, they hear stories of an enormous batbeast. They say it is large enough to pluck a Firemane from the earth, carry it into the sky, and drop it with precision on a target below. In hushed tones they say that on otherwise clear nights a storm will roll in unexpectedly and there it is, large and silver, riding the clouds and dancing amidst the lightning. It has been leading sorties against the pastures and stables the Firemanes are kept in. It inflicts damage until the resistance is finally assembled, and then retreats amidst the rain and darkness. Your mission is to devise and organize defenses against this batbeast. Deal grevious harm to the great batbeast to drive it away; kill it if you can. Collect the body of at least one batbeast so that the Horned One and Silver can examine it up close, and we can perform an autopsy on it.

Broken Wing - Assault
Rewards: +4 Morale.
Penalties: -1 Supply.

The undead are coming east over the mountains, and will soon be in and take control of Three Day Pass. This is the most direct West-East route from Karlsburg over the mountains to Westlake. Their advanced elements may even overtake the last of the refugees and mercantile groups fleeing, and make it much harder for the Quatermaster to meet the Legion’s needs. Get to Three Day Pass before the undead have it under their control, and render it as difficult to use as possible.

Intel questions

Intel 3: Based on the Annals and other histories of the Godswar, is
there a relic from that age, crafted to fight other Gods, that we can
acquire and use against the Broken?

There is a spear in the Duresh Forest that was crafted to kill Chosen of the gods. It is pinning the shadow of the Cacophany.

Intel 2: What customs and traditions, especially initiation rites or
leadership challenges, of the horse nomads of Sunstrider Camp, that we
can use to prove ourselves or show dominance to Falka and her bandits?

Answer: The plains nomad value horsemanship and bow accuracy.

Intel 1: What are the weaknesses of Blighter’s Belchers?
They are highly flammable.

Intel 0: What (one thing) would be useful to bring to Amber Peak?
They have plenty of goods, but lack luxury items.

Personae Dramatis

  • Voyis Kareyvich, the Kingfisher Knight
    Carries the hook, from Red Hook, as a Trophy.
    Renowned, Loyal. Weaponmaster

  • Irex “Honeybadger” Tayovna, Zemyati Soldier, Corporal of the Shattered Lions
    The only survivor of the Shattered Lions at the time of the battle of Ettenmark Fields, Irex is an unpleasantly uncompromising and iron willed taskmaster. She is very vocal about the superiority of the Shattered Lions among the Legion’s squads, and has a rivalry with Conte Fieri of the Grinning Ravens. Not well liked among the Legion, though few would challenge her crazy-eyed stare.
    Loyal, Stubborn. Devil’s Own Luck, Iron Willed, Channels 1, Skirmish 1, Maneuver 1, Consort 1, Sway 2, Intimidate 2

  • Albon Anunsin, Rookie
    The prodigy son of a professor, Albon’s curiosity of the western front led him to sign up with the Legion just before Ettenmark Fields. He lied about his age and is the youngest Legionnaire, but is already considered one of the most learned and ingenious among them.
    Warm, Educated. Just a Kid, Research 2, Rig 2, Skirmish 1, Maneuver 1, Consort 2, Discipline 1

  • Zai Yaryevna, Medic
    Helped patch up the Lieutenant and Mercy just before leaving Plainsworth.
    Loyal, Surgeon, Tough

  • Atuli Markesh, Scout
    Infiltrator, carefree, religious

Mission AAR

Amber Peak

Horse Lady Tsaga asked the Legion to eliminate a threat to her, Falka. A former rider from one of the lesser clans, Falka was charismatic and even a match in horsemanship and skill to Tsaga, but was not originally of the horse tribes, having been captured along with her mother from her village outside of Plainsworth. Falka, after being refused the leadership of her clan, fled to the western mountains and took up banditry, amassing quite a following, preying on the eastern and western roads, and proving a thorn in Tsaga’s side. Commander Squirrel and the Legion took upon themselves the role of intermediary, to convince the two sides to work together against the common undead threat. While the Commander, along with the Lieutenant went to hold court with Horse Lady Tsaga, the Shattered Lions, led by Corporal Irex “Honeybadger” Tayovna, were sent along with Voyis Kariyevich, the Kingfisher Knight, and the scout Atuli Markesh to get an audience with the self-styled Bandit Queen Falka.

The detachment rode into the mountains along a road known to be favored by the Bandit Queen’s riders. During the night, a score of the bandits tried to surprise the camped Legionnaires, but Atuli, ever ready for anything, had set up the camp to provide good sightlines for sentries. Albon Anunsin, the other member of the Shattered Lions to have survived Ettenmark Fields, was able to rouse the camp so all are at the ready when the riders tried to surprise the camp. Corporal Tayovna and the Shattered Lions faced the bandits, led by a rider named Rustem. Rustem and Tayovna announce their respective group titles,and Tayovna announced that even the renowned Kingfisher Knight is under the legion banner and is her subordinate. Despite some insults that Rustem made about the Legion and Voyis, he warily avoided confrontation and accepted Tayovna’s request to escort the Legionnaires to Bandit Queen Falka for parley. The two bands eyed each other warily without fraternization and made it to the Bandit Queen camp without incident.

Falka received the legion at her tent, with the looted splendor of her band’s efforts. The bandit queen was remarkably fit despite being in middle years, and a townsfolk factotum announces the legionnaires, Irex, Albon, the Kingfisher Knight, and Atuli to the feast table.The Legion representatives and Falka shared tidings and discuss mutual recognition, including from Horse Lady Tsaga, in preparation for mutual defense from the undead. They shared stories of valorous actions against the undead, with both sides telling stories of how they dispatched particularly renowned Stitched. Albon, Voyis’ most strident fan, retold the story of how Voyis led the team that slew the infamous Red Hook.
Atuli, always spiritually curious, asked about Gerholtz.The legion and Falka’s senior advisers then had a learned discussion about Gerholtz, with Voyis telling of his years at Gerholtz’ shrine and Albon surprisingly providing much insight. Falka then told stories of how the Firemanes became the favored steed of the Chosen of Gerholtz and how no Firemane has ever rejected Falka. She then asked Rustem his assessment of the Legion. Rustem, out of pride, the Legion and says that they are not worthy, and Falka asked the Legion to respond. Voyis took up the mantle of Rustem’s challenge, and when Rustem proposed an atheletic contest of horse riding and archery, Irex managed to goad the bandit with an insult about his cowardice in refusing to meet the Kingfisher Knight by arms, that Rustem accepted a mounted duel with their horses as stakes.

Rustem, spiritually supported by a shaman of Gerholtz, charged recklessly at Voyis. Voyis managed to leap from his horse onto Rustem’s firemane and, as the two wrestled for control of the horse, the Firemane threw Rustem to the ground and accepted Voyis as his new master. When Voyis went to help Rustem up, Rustem tried to knife him with a hidden weapon, but Voyis fluidly threw Rustem back to the ground. Rustem then left the camp in shame, and was not seen again.

Falka would later reconcile with Horse Lady Tsaga and would prove vital to the horse tribe’s defense of the plains to the north and west of Sunstrider Camp. Although Sunstrider Camp itself would end up abandoned, the people of the area were mostly spared the fate of Plainsworth, surviving the war.
(Mechanical note-- the session ended with two critical successes, one by Irex to goad Rustem into a more favorable contest and to up the stakes of that contest, and one by Voyis to win the contest with extra style points).

Shattered Tiger

Zai Yaryevna led the Ember Wolves to the Firemane stables. Corporal Bottas Davintar, a master strategist, set up the ballista into an ambush position for when the beastbats arrive. Storm Roc and a small flock of beastbats. The first shot killed a beastbat outright, but Strom Roc moved with unnatural celerity, slashing Valteri Natovichna to death, wounding Zai, and grabbing Gray Striking Flint. Zai and the ZBlackshot spent, Ballista deployed, Zai and the Aquidith turn the ballista around and gravely wound Strom Roc, driving it away. The remaining beastbats go feral and are eventually driven from the field by teh remaining Ember Wolves. The first slain beastbat was carried back to camp and carefully vivisected.

Broken Wing

The Horned One reports that the Breaker can now control the weather and trees at will.

Back at Camp

Crimson Rushing Flame, squad leader of the Star Vipers, approaches Marshall Trupattellen and demands replacements to his squad, which are down to just him and the new recruit Belgarin Deinyer. He observes that not only have the Ember Wolves had their losses replaced, but the Grinning Ravens have been prioritized with two rookies replacing recently promoted specialists. The Marshall diplomatically tells Crimson Rushing Flame that the recent recruits were mainly Aldermani recently freed from Wodz and did not have the breadth of experience suitable for the more mystically minded Star Vipers. The Marshall neglected to mention the directive from Commander Squirrel to try to get as many squads back to fighting strength, nor the favor that the Grinning Ravens had accrued due to their recent successes and the silver tongue of the Conte.

Mission Penalties and Rewards:

Morale 7 = 9 - 2 (Shattered Tiger deaths)
Lose last supply (Broken Wing failed)
Morale 7 + 4 = 10 (Morale gain from both Amber Peak and Shattered Tiger)
+2 Intel (1 from Shattered Tiger, 1 from Horned One)
Time 11 = 12 - 1 (Amber Peak)

Time Passes
Time advances, 12 = 11 + 1
Pressure does not advance (Amber Peak)
Tale of the Legion told of the Legion’s independence (3 ticks to Long Term Project, Panyar Allies)

Campaign Actions
Acquire Assets: Horse (poor quality, only two ticks).
Rest and Recuperation. Anibhan clears lvl 3 harm, Mercy clears lvl 2 harm.
Reverie advances, 2 steps, 2 corruption.
War memorial completes, max morale is now 12.

Legion advances to Duresh Forest, Time 14 = 12 + 2 (0 pressure)

Campaign note-- intelligence throughout the campaign was high, with the Horned Ones Shapeshifter ability being key towards keeping intelligence high. Thus, one was spent by the commander to get a special mission starting from the previous (third) Plainsworth mission and on to the end of the campaign).

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Mission Briefings

Grasping Gale - Assault
Long ago Mattiar the Smith crafted a mystical spear for his brother Gerholtz the Hunter. Gerholtz wielded the spear made by his brother to spare humanity from a dangerous monster. The Cacophony - a famous beast from the forest, inscribed on the seal of Aldermark — is pinned by this powerful artifact to keep it from rampaging. The Legion could use a weapon such as this—provided they can slay the beast.
Rewards: +2 Morale, +1 Mystic favor. Relic: Sticking Spear (if anyone or their shadow is impaled by this spear, they are rooted in place).
Penalties: None.

Russet Hillock - Religious
Rewards: +1 Intel. +2 Morale. +1 Mystic Favor.
Penalties: -1 Morale.
Emerald Dancing Moonlight, Chosen of the Horned One tells Commander Squirrel that the fall equinox is soon. The full moon closest to the equinox is a holy date, in which it is tradition to make offerings to the Moon, perform sacred dances, and drink fermented beverages. There is a temple to the Moon hidden in the forest, where it is said that a sacred pool will reveal truths about the coming year if the religious rites are performed correctly. (Emerald Dancing Moonlight is/was a priestess of the Moon, and can explain how to find it to a Panyar.) Your mission is to locate a high priest of the Moon, escort them and other adherents to the temple, see that the holy rites are performed, and learn what you can from the divining pool.

Sunrise Tornado - Recon
An early season crop of apples and pears has been harvested in the Duresh. Your agents in the area report that the local Panyar and Aldermani have had to abandon many barrels of apples with the arrival of the undead on the periphery of the wood. Your mission is to ascertain the undead forces that are entering the forst, and recover the foodstuffs for the Legion.
Type: Infiltration.
Rewards: +1 Box Food. +1 Intel.
Penalties: None.

Persona Dramatis

  • Voyis Kariyevich, Heavy

    • Voyis now rides a Firemane won through a contest and carries the Red Hook, which he claimed as a trophy after he and the Grinning Ravens slew the infamous Stitched. Has great camaraderie with the Grinning Ravens.
    • Loyal, weaponmaster, tough
  • Silver Dancing Storm, Sniper

    • She looks to add more notches to her rifle, volunteering for the mission.
    • Focused, ruthless, elite shoot
  • Vettel Sebanich, Soldier

    • Recently promoted to Soldier, and always at the forefront
    • Over the top, protective, bulky
  • “Goblin” Golden Leaping Shadow, Rookie

    • Golden Leaping Shadow was an apprenticed tanner, and was fascinated with the taxidermy and anatomy of all animals, especially humans. He has a morbid fascination with necromantic tales and joined the legion in order to learn more about the minions of the Broken. His Panyar mark are manifest in his dilated eyes, his hunchback, and the owl-like ability to rotate his head 270 degrees. His disfigured look and his unnatural interests and affect have resulted in his nickname Goblin.
    • Traveller Artisan Panyar. Jack of All Trades, 2 Research, 1 Scout, 2 Rig, 1 Skirmish, 1 Maneuver, 1 Shoot, 1 Consort
  • Zai Yaryevna, Medic

    • Still wounded from leading the Shattered Tiger, she was still chosen for Russet Hillock to serve as a liaison to the Nyx priest Sapphire Dancing Grove
    • Tough, stern, healer
  • “Feathers” Frost Slicing Star, Scout

    • Newly promoted to specialist, sent to help support Zai and to provide scouting support to arrive at the Nyx temple.
    • Strategist, amiable, home cook

Intel Questions

  • Intel 3: What special opportunities are available in the Talgon Forest?
    Answer:Talgon forest missions: In addition to the known special mission to investigate a fragment of the moon, there are two additional opportunities: to retrieve a cutting from the Heartwood Tree, and to participate in a Horned One ritual hunt of the white stag.

  • Intel 2: What is a weakness of Cacophony?
    Answer: The sticking spear was too weak to pierce the Cacophony, so it was used to trap the Cacophony’s shadow instead. However, given the long time that the spear has pierced its shadow, it now has a weakness at the the particular point in its body corresponding to its shadow wound.

  • Intel 1: What is a craving of Batbeasts?
    Answer: When in the presence of witches, they prioritize serving them. When on their own, they are very aggressive. If they see any person or animal alive, they will go for it (unless ledby the Infamous Storm Roc).

  • Intel 0: What are useful items to bring?
    Answer: The Huntsman’s Bowt, fire, mirrors.

Mission After Action Reports

The Cacophony

In an age before the Old Empire, twin Chosen of the Aldermark Gods worked together to trap the Cacophony, the monstrous beast that is on the Aldermark royal crest. Legend has it that they pinned the beast with the Sticking Spear, crafted by the Chosen of Mattiar specifically for the purpose and said to be able to pin in place anyone whose shadow is pierced by the spear. Records from the annals told of a cursed region of the Duresh forest in which the sounds of thunder crashed continuously that match the famed legends of the Stocking Spear. A mission team led by Voyis Kariyevich, including Silver Dancing Storm and the Grinning Ravens, were sent to investigate the rumors and acquire the Sticking Spear. The ballista was assigned to the squad, limbered on a hand cart for quick movement through the terrain.

The squad entered the cursed forest area and felt the vibrations of the ground shaking. The Grinning Ravens used their trademark laugh as a chant to keep rank and morale, but witches riding beastbats started animating the forest to pursue the detachment. Silver Dancing Storm ordered the detachment to march in double time to avoid pursuit.

They discovered a cave containing the Cacophony, a constantly vibrating beast with sixteen heads and the bulk of a house. An everglowing monolith reflected light into a hole, projecting the Cacophony’s shadow deep into the cave. The StickingSpear is stuck in the shadow, keeping the Cacophony starved for centuries. Its myriad heads desperately snapped at the legionnaires, but the relic kept it pinned in place.

Voyis and the Grinning Ravens crafted a multiple headed fishing line, with the main oversized fishing hook taken from the Infamous Red Hook. Using the contraption, the squad dangled much of the entire squad’s rations to distract the monster while Silver Dancing Storm and Kerishma Derari gotinto position on the far side of the cave with the ballista.

Centuries of being pinned with the Sticking Spear created a sympathetic weakness in the Cacophony’s hide, and Silver Dancing Storm, with the hunter’s instincts of the Huntsman’s Bow, shot straight and true, piercing the Cacophony in its weak point to slay it. It is said that this is how the Legion fulfilled the ancient prophecy of Gerholtz begun centuries before with the crafting of the Sticking Spear. The detachment returned with the Spear, the Horn of the Cacophony, and with the Eye of Mattiar that was instrumental in providing the light for the Cacophony’s near eternal shadow.

Days later, Emerald Dancing Moonlight, Chosen of the Horned One, returned to the cave and brought back a hunk of the Cacophony’s flesh. They prepared a grand feast, granting the thews of the Horned One to the soldiers of the Legion.

The Scrying Pool

Emerald Dancing Moonlight, before she had demanded to become the Chosen of the Horned One, had been a priestess of Nyx, and knew of Turquoise Gazing Temple, a Nyx holy site deep in the Duresh forests. She asked Frost Slicing Star and the legion to find and escort an uncorrupted priestess of the Moon to the temple to perform the Full Moon Equinox ritual, which is said to reveal the truths about the coming year.

Newly promoted scout Frost Slicing Star (Feathers) and Zai Yaryevna led the Ghost Owls on the mission. Feathers went to Brno, the largest Panyar village within the Duresh forest, and consorted with the local Nyx followers. She convinced Sapphire Dancing Grove and his acolytes to reclaim the Nyx temple and perform the ritual.

Feathers scouted a safe path to the temple, and found it abandoned. The trees around the temple had been lightning blasted, with many charred bodies in the surroundings. Feathers and Zai led the Ghost Owls in an ambush of a Witch who was guarding the temple and wounded her, driving her and her batbeast off.

The detachment cleared away the damage to the temple with the help of Sapphire Dancing Grove’s devotees. The temple is open to the sky and moon, and was lit in the warm glow of tall standing lanterns. A traditional Panyar feast of harvest moon squash soup was prepared by Feathers, topped off with mooncakes. Then they performed the ritual over the sacred pool, and after its completion saw many visions within the pool.

They saw Plainsworth prostrate with a supernatural plague, and taken without a fight. They saw the horse lords of Sunstrider Camp performing hit and run actions against the undead They saw images of a 12 pointed flaming crown floating in darkiness. They saw an immaculately decorated sarcophagus, with the arms of the statue holding a chain crackling with energy. They saw moonlit figures gathered around a giant rock, dancing and singing. They saw a massive fortress being beseiged by Blighter’s forces. And they saw dozens of Black Oak Knights on the western edge of the Panyar woods, leading a massive figure. That figure, presumed to be the Cinder King, raised his hands and set off a massive conflagration in the woods. Then the Cinder King peered straight at the legionnaires, and sent an enormous blast of fire at the scrying room. The water of the scrying pool instantly boiled, scalding many of the participants. Saniz Karlovich and Blue Streaming Laurel perished, and Zai and Feathers were badly burned. It was only due to the perseverance of Zai that Sapphire Dancing Grove and most of the delegation survived the mystical attack.

Back to camp

The Horned One brings a hunk of the Cacophony and roasts it. All sorts of forest animals brought vegetables. The Legion eats of the bounty, and everyone gains the Thews of the Chosen One.

The legates of the Legion were given orders at the beginning of the rout at Ettenmark Fields, were given orders to travel across Eastern Aldermark to deliver and gather news and to rendezvous with the Legion once at the Duresh Forest and finally at Skydagger Keep. News from the returning legates have arrived.

Plainsworth had fallen to Blighter’s plague, and the city was purged of human life without a fight. It is believed that there is nothing more to be done for Plainsworth or its environs.

The truce between Horse Lady Tsaga and Falka holds. With the help of Shreya’s remnant forces in the Barrak Mine, the horsefolk have been able to keep the undead at bay, pressed only by minor detachments of Blighter’s and Breaker’s forces (the majority of which have been diverted into the forest and into the roads to the south. The Commander has sent a message to Shreya to rendevous at Skydagger Keep, though it is our current expectation, based on the prior messages that she has sent, that she intends to winter in the Barrak Mine and hold the Gallows Pass.

Blighter’s forces are making good time pressing east into the lands south of the forest and north of the twin cities of Westlake and Eastlake. The Aldermani of those cities have withdrawn into their walls, and so Blighter is facing very sparse resistance. Fort Calisco has signaled that they are preparing for a protracted siege. The Commander has sent a message to Fort Calisco to expect our arrival.

To the south of Westlake and Eastlake, the Royal Orite fleet has been burned from a mystical conflagration outside of Portsmouth. It is believed that the Cinder King is being escorted by Render towards the Eastern Kingdoms, though it is not known at this time by the remnants of the fleet as to where the Cinder King is expected to strike. The Commander has sent a message to the Panyar Forest to expect that the Cinder King is likely to arrive.

Mission Penalties and Rewards

Morale 8 = 10 - 2 (Ghost Owl deaths)
Morale 8 + 4 = 12 (Morale gain from missions)
+1 Intel (1 from Shattered Tiger, 1 from Horned One)
2 Mystic Favor
Promotion: Vettel to Specialist (Heavy)

Time advances, 15 = 14 + 1
Pressure advances to 1

Campaign Actions
Long Term Project: Dog allies complete
Rest and Recuperation. Zai clears lvl 2 harm, Mercy clears lvl 1 harm
Alchemy: Finish delirium, using Cacophony horn, create a new batch of Fox snuff.
Surgical ICU Wagon gets three ticks

Legion advances to Talgon Forest, Time 16 = 15 + 1 (1- 1 (horse)pressure))

Mission Briefings

Calico Protrustion
The Horned One has warned Commander Squirrel that in the southwest of the forest is a sacred lake. She can feel something is profundly wrong there, and must be set to rights.
Rewards: -1 Time. + 2 xp.
Penalties: -1 Morale.

Dappled Swordfish
When the moon was shattered, several pieces of the Goddess Nyx fell from heaven. A large piece can be found in the forest, only a day or so out. According to preliminary reports, there are ethereal, silver, and strange creatures, only vaguely humanoid, guarding the site where the stone crashed.
Rewards: Relic: Lunar Crown (said to purify and reveal the unseen). 1 Mystic favor.
Penalties: Nyx worshippers desert the Legion to continue seeking the relic (two deaths).

Saturated Ambrosia
The Panyar elder, Amethyst Swirling Eternity, has been gravely injured in the defense of the Panyar from the undead. She is being tended by one of the priests of Ariska. Go to the village she is recovering in, and persuade her to come to the Legion and teach the Horned One sacred mysteries she does not yet know. You will need to escort her safely if she agrees to come.
Rewards: 1 Mercy. 1 Mystic Favor.
Penalties: None.

Persona Dramatis

  • Emerald Swinging Vine, Rookie
    • The corporal of the Silver Stags, Emerald Swinging Vine is a protege of the Lieutenant. At first it seems she has twining green lines tattooed up and down her left side, but upon closer inspection it appears those are her veins, green as fresh ivy. Considered the most strongly marked of the Legion Panyar, she was the first to befriend the Panyar canine allies. She secretly feels guilty that she has not fully committed to botanical living as a Panyar (i.e. vegetarian, still enjoys being sentient). She likes to rub wood pieces like worry stones.
    • Shrewd Marked Panyar, Jack of All Trades, Scout 1, Rig 1, Shoot 1, Skirmish 1, Maneuver 1, Consort 1, Sway 2, Discipline 1
  • Atuli Markesh, Scout
    • Atuli has taken the lead as trailblazer and shows little fear even of the Talgon Forest. He has shown a great deal of curiosity about the faiths of both the Aldermani and the Panyar, and has tried, awkwardly, to talk to the Horned One, while getting friendly tips from Feathers.
    • Open to religious experiences, infiltrator, ready for anything
  • Zai Yaryevna, Medic
    • After her failure to save the witch near Plainsworth, Zai has become focused on understanding the link between Breaker and her minions and has spent time with the Lieutenant peering through the Commander’s reports and through the annals.
    • Broadly educated, field dressing, surgeon
  • Mercy, Heavy
    • Finally healed from his wounds from recovering the Tantari Banner, Mercy is itching for some action.
    • Cold, War Machine, Brutal
  • Lieutenant Anirbhan, Officer
    • Newly recovered from his wounds from Azure Pakuna, Anirban is eager to take command in the field again.
    • Tactician, exceptionally educated, tolerant
  • “Feathers” Frost Slicing Star, Scout
    • Though still suffering from burns from Russet Hillock, Feathers believes she saw a vision of herself at a profanely polluted lake, and convinces the Commander that she should accompany the Lieutenant on Calico Protrusion.
    • Strategist, caring, home cook

Intel questions:strong text

  • Lvl 3
    • What is the meaning of the sarcophagus with the sparking chain from the ritual at Turquoise Gazing Temple?
    • Answer: A pre-imperial Chosen is interred in the maw with a chain that shoots lightning.
  • Lvl 2:
    • What is the weakness of the infamous know as Storm Roc?
    • Answer: Batbeasts are corruptions of sacred birds of Varaza. Storm Roc was one of the oldest and well known of the sacred birds. There is the possibility of connecting to its past identity as a sacred Bartan animal of health and wisdom.
  • Lvl 1:
    • What are items useful for the mission to the meteorite?
    • Answer: Book and scrolls, gift, navigation equipment
  • Lvl 0:
    • What are two approaches to the mission to the meteorite?
    • Answer: One approach is through force of arms, another through a ritual connection to the meteorite guardians.

Mission After Action Report

Dappled Swordfish

When Nyx broke and the moon shattered, several pieces of the goddess fell from the heavens. The legion had an interest in helping the Horned One figure out and hopefully fight against the corruption of Nyx, and so traced reports of sightings of these moon fragment crash sites. A large piece was sighted in the Talgon Forest close to Harug. According to reports of Panyar locals, there were strange silver ethereal creatures, only vaguely humanoid, guarding the site where the stone crashed. A task force led by Emerald Swinging Vine, corporal of the Silver Stags was assigned the heavy Mercy, the scout Atuli Markesh, and the medic Zai Yaryevna to go investigate and if possible bring back pieces of Nyx.

Atuli brought Spike, a recently trained Panyar canine ally, who helped the squad navigate the treeline above the forest, thus avoiding the ursinoids and the giant weasels who were exceptionally active near the crash site. As dusk was falling, the mission team saw an odd luminescence in the area and heard a strange harmony. Emerald Swinging Vine led Atuli and Zai in a Panyar dance, improvised to harmonize with the strange music, and saw a large crater where the trees had been blasted away. At the center was a carriage size meteor, with smaller pieces strewn around the meteor. Gathered around the meteor were a dozen ethereal creatures. Eight were multi-tentacled objects with silvery filigree like a man of war, and four were long necked fractal creatures with unnatural angular features and pentagonal symmetry. They were all moving with dance-like grace and emitting otherworldy harmonics. A pentagonal figure seemed to be the leader and had an iridescent circlet framing its translucent neck. The crown emitted pure moonlight.

The legion trio joined the dance and song, and the strange creatures imitated the movements of the three humans. Seeing themselves accepted, Emerald Swnging Vine, Atuli and Zai announce themselves and are given an offering bowl. Zai intuits that the bowl was for collecting blood, and began a bloodletting ritual requiring a significant amount of life force from the three of them.
The head ethereal alien took the blood offering and used it to paint the meteor,inviting the legionnaires in the painting. As the three paint on the meteor with their blood, they can hear in their minds the sentiment, welcoming the three to a mental communion with the aliens.Emerald Swinging Vine accepted, and the pentagonal leader melded minds with the three, so that they could see into each other’s minds.

The aliens were native to the moon and had spent an eternity dancing and harmonizing to the eternal rhythms and heavenly cycles of the passing of time. They were horrified when the moon cracked, bewildered by the strange landscape that greeted their fall to this world, and concerned that their piece of the moon fell to this place.

They were delighted to learn that the Horned One, former priestess of Nyx, travelled with the Legion but warned the three communing legionnaires of the danger of Mercy, showing a formative scene of Mercy torturing and murdering the town drunk of his village.

The moonies then asked the three to help in a cleansing ritual. Using the blood offering, the leader sorrowfully but determinedly used their own lunar life force. The circlet flared brightly and its form started to boil off. The meteor glowed intensely with the blood patterns swirling around its surface. It then rises out of the ground, floating momentarily before exponentially accelerating away back towards the distant fractured moon. The crown fell, and the other moonies emoted expressions of concern and relief.

With the passing of the leader the telekinetic link was broken, and, encouraged by the moonies, Atuli took the lunar crown. In an attempt to communicate with the moonies, he wore it, and it then fused to his skull, turning his eyes silver and his hair white. The moonies circlde around Atuli and one touched Atuli’s head. Atuli found that he could now thoughtmeld with the moonie, and understood the cost to put back the meteor, and that the remaining pieces were too broken to be returned. Atuli promised to safeguard and protect the remaining corrupted fragments. The moonie then communicated that they will go find and support the Horned One’s servants, resolved to protect this world of the corruption that broke theirs.

Atuli found that he can recognize the broken pieces with the illuminating power of the lunar crown, and that there were more that he could see, though he was not yet ready to pay that cost. He also found, despite his and the Zai’s best efforts, that it was not possible to remove the lunar crown.

Calico Protrusion

When the Shattered Lions went to the site of the corruption, they saw a strange heavy mist rolling of the lake and heard the creaking of the trees. They heard some distant chanting, and began to investigate the trees, wary of witches. As they proceeded deeper into the forest, the trees animated and Rakinta Pojner was slain and the Lieutenant was wounded by the branches of a pair of trees, with the Lieutenant taking a severe wound and Rak. With Corporal Adlera Koberel and Agitor Tonio Vinazzi bearing the Lieutenant, the remainder of the squad fled out of the trees and into a clearing near the polluted lake. The Lieutenant determined that the witches put a profane object in the lake and performed rituals to bend the forest to their will. Feathers determined the resting spot of the object and Lanki Schtroll swam to the bottom of the lake and managed to bring a stained chalice up to the surface. They suffered massive corruption as first sores, then then ability to see through their feet. As they got to the surface, they felt tremendous bloodlust, stabbing Feathers. Lanki killed themselves to save the rest of the team from more harm.

Back at camp

The sweeping advance of Bligher’s forces into the villages north of the twin cities of Westlake and Eastlake had caused a panic among the populace there. Many refugees fled into the Talgon Forest, though few survived the dangers of the forest, between distrustful Panyar hunters, the dangerous beasts of the forest, and roving agents of Blighter. While returning from the Calico Protrusion mission objective, Feathers was alerted by some of the Chosen One’s attendant birds to a score of refugees, led by survivors from the Battle of Ettenmark Fields. With help from Corporal Adlera, Feathers made contact with the band and led them to the Legion’s camp. Most of the refugees were later placed into Panyar villages but twelve chose to join the Legion before the Legion broke camp from Harug and advanced to Fort Calisco.

Mission rewards and penalties
Lunar Crown obtained, fused with Atuli
Morale 12 -2 = 10 (deaths)
Time 16 - 1 = 15
Intel 5 + 1 = 6 (Horned One)
Gain 1 mystic favor

Time Passes
Time 15 + 1 = 16
Pressure 0 + 1 = 1

Tale of the Legion’s Victory: Legion digs in,pressure 1-1 = 0

Campaign Actions

Laborers complete Surgical tent
Campaign Action 1: Recruit
Campaign Action 2: Officer School
Alchemists: Purify moon rocks (create religious supplies)

The Legion stays in the Talgon Forest