I’m running for two groups, and will be posting mission AARs in a largely arbitrary order. First one I posted was the Kingfisher Knight mission.
So I’ve got a new crew starting, and they want some body horror and hard core military campaigning. Shreya, Blighter, and Render.
Starting mission is blowing the bridge. First thing I have to justify is, why hasn’t the bridge been blown already? If the legion retreated across it, they probably would have wrecked it on the way, unless someone fucked up, and I’d rather the legion not have fucked up. So the legion crossed elsewhere, blew that crossing, and now needs to make sure this bridge is blown too. Maybe an Aldermark regiment routed across it, and failed to set charges. If it’s this critical, why hasn’t it been heavily garrisoned by the undead? Clearly they haven’t gotten there yet, maybe because of infighting but rest assured, there’s a flying column on its way. Probably a squadron of Render’s heavy cavalry, followed by endless streams pikemen and undead.
So what makes the bridge cool? It could be a simple stone bridge, but the mix of high and low tech is neat in this setting. And the most badass bridges are suspension bridges. Maybe it’s a giant old empire suspension bridge? Made with metals we no longer understand. The world will never again see its like. Maybe it’s even one of the wonders of the world! And the legion needs to destroy this precious infrastructure to save their asses.
Simple blackpowder charges aren’t going to do for this marvel of engineering. The crew agrees that all the rookies are carrying barrels of powerful acid that will eat through the metal of the bridge, and maybe set it on fire, letting the weight of the bridge tear itself apart. Where do the charges need to be placed? We decide planting the acid charges at the top of the tower will both shear off the cables, causing lots of damage, and also be metal as fuck in a thunderstorm.
So they deploy, three PCs, playing a medic, a scout, and a rookie. Scout takes two rookies forward to picket the far end of the bridge, while the PC rookie and an NPC rookie go up one tower, and the Medic and other rookie go up the other. The Scout’s not really leading the two rookies picketing the far side, more explicitly ignoring them, but no one gets scared or lost anyone.
Everything’s going fine, when the scout hears the jangle of armour, and hammer of hoofbeats. Eight knights of the oak ride up bold as brass, not expecting any trouble, and the leader has a great white hound on a silver leash. The scout decides the best warning is a good offence, and so the leader goes down hard with an arrow through his open helm. His horse goes wild, so the hound gets a little trampled, and retaliates by evicerating the horse. The two rookies open up, and miraculously manage to do a credible job of providing covering fire for each other as they fall back across the bridge. With the enemy advance party in utter disarray, the scout calls it a job well done, tosses a grapnel further down the bridge, and decides to swing himself below along out of danger. Of course, he misjudges the distance, and his momentum, and thus ends swaying gently from a rope below the bridge. When he looks up, he sees Eater, because of course its Eater, staring down at him. Eater starts to climb down the rope, grinning a horrible, lipless grin.
Meanwhile, the PC rookie, who was formerly an architect, has realized that severing these cables isn’t going to be enough, and when the shooting kicks off, slides down the ladder from the top of the tower down to one of the pylons. He slides a bit too forcefully, and breaks a leg. Swearing and limping, he starts to try to set additional charges on the underside of the pylon, when he sees Eater go after the scout who’s hanging impotently from the rope. The scout pulls some acrobatics, and manages to get a black arrow knocked (devil’s bargain, the rest of his quiver empties into the river as he flips upside down), just as the rookie draws a bead on Eater, and they shoot together. Hard failure. Eater twitches out of the way, and screams, giving them both supernatural migraines.
The medic has rallied the rest of the rookies, found a bunch of rope, tied it to an abandoned wagon wheel for weight, and swings it out to the Scout, who manages to grab onto it, and cut himself lose from the rope Eater’s decending. Eater makes a grab, but misses, and has to scurry back up.
By now, the knights have reformed, and to ride down the legionnaires. Disciplined musketry and a slippery road-bed breaks up their attack, and they dismount, drawing bows. One starts scaling a tower, to try to defuse the acid bombs, but a PC, I forget who, grabs a musket from a rookie, and manages to blast the acid bomb just as the knight reaches it. Acid eats into the cables, and the armour of the knight. Both bridge and knight catch fire. The cable sags, frays, and parts. I start describing what’s happening to the bridge: “You see cables snapping and scything across the bridge, sheering through abandoned carts-” “No we don’t. We’re running and we don’t look back.”
They make it off the bridge, which is now warping badly, and engulfed in alchemical flame, but they don’t have a chance to mourn the passing of this architectural marvel, because a badly burned Eater leaps off the bridge at them. They get off one volley, but without blackshot, it doesn’t do much, and then its hand-to-hand. They hold the line, more or less, and on a backswing someone manages to cut the stitches holding Eater’s eyes shut. They open for the first time since it died. It screams, and dives into the river to escape. I offer them the chance to hunt it down. They look at me like I’m crazy, and flee back to camp.