Monday, 2 December 2013

Blog-Con Battle Report: Trouble at Nobridge

Being an account of this most splendid battle fought between myself and Warlord Paul on the second day of Blog-con, beautifully devised and GMed by Thantsants (who provided the human, dwarf, elf, and gnome figures for Paul to use to take on my fimir)...
(Many thanks to Warlord Paul for the photos in this report)

"Dangerous conditions? What are you on about, dangerous conditions? Dangerous? We've been working here nearly three months and nothing remotely dangerous has happened except that one time when you had too much to drink in the pub and tried to chat up that elf witch Fayana..."

"No, no, what I want to know is what's being done to ensure welfare in the workplace? Basic provisions of health and safety?"

"Elf and what? What is it about you and elves, you sick bastard?"

"Did somebody say something about elves? Poncey pasty f..."

"No, no, I mean..."

"Shhh, shut up and look busy! The militia are coming down the road from the village to check up on us again..."

The villagers of the proud settlement of Nobridge are getting frustrated. For years, they have sought planning permission to build a bridge, only to have the planning permission refused because the elven population of neighbouring Laloc felt that the designs were "out of character with the local surroundings". Finally, after endless appeals, increasingly costly architectural redesigns, and a series of spectacularly outrageous bribes, they had managed to get their plans through the parish council. Now at last trading caravans could leave the village to carry the rich harvest from the newly drained wetlands to market - the finest produce in all the land, they liked to think. Unfortunately, due to militant unionisation throughout the land, the only contractors they have been able to hire are "Enji's Engineers", the most inefficient dwarf sappers in history, who have managed to string out what should have been two weeks' work into three months of seemingly endless tea-breaks. The dwarves now declare themselves "nearly finished" - but they've been saying that for at least a month. Every day a patrol leaves Nobridge to try and cajole the dwarves into doing some work, and to check for signs of an ambush. There have been troubling stories of bloody raids on the nearby villages at the edge of the wetlands and nobody feels quite safe right now...

Indeed, unknownst to Enji's engineers, unknown to the militia of Nobridge, at that very moment a raiding party was making its way downriver, shrouded in mist. Led by their warlord Gislea, accompanied by the blind and pitiful figure of Derach the Demented Dirach - mocked and feared in equal measure - the fimir of Clan Slea waded through the water with grim determination. For years now they had watched humans bleed the fenland dry, the endless appetite for more and more farmland destroying the swampy habitat where the fimir dwell. With pleasure, Clan Slea had carved out revenge through raids on the villages of the fen edge, taking their share of blood and leaving many families without mothers and daughters. Now, the fimir had heard tell of the people of Nobridge's plan to build a bridge. The bridge would increase trade, causing Nobridge to swell in size and wealth. Should the village of Nobridge swell in size and wealth, its expanded influence and increased demand for farmland would spell certain death for what remained of the undrained wetland. So those building the bridge must be stopped... and the people of Nobridge punished.

Now the elementalist Fayana - best known for her skill as a one elf fire brigade, putting out forest fires with rain summoned from the clouds - comes racing towards the place where the bridge is being built, accompanied by a band of elven archers and wardancers. She had sensed that something was not quite right, but at this stage had no clear concept of what lay in store.

Reaching gnome tower, which overlooks the river, Fayana explains her suspicions to the gnomes who dwell in that (aptly named) tower, one of whom races up the spiral stairs to see if he can see any danger in the distance.

The Fimm continue their steady movement along the river. Suddenly, the warlord Gislea lurches out and away from the Fimm Warriors, insisting in an arrogant style sadly well known to all in Clan Slea that he would "lead the way". This was to prove a foolish move. Deprived of the magical mist generated by the fimir, he found himself momentarily dazed by the sun, quite forgetting where he was.

The gnome who had been sent to climb the tower saw the warlord standing dazed in the meadow below him. Immediately, he sounded the alarm, causing the militia of Nobridge to look upriver and see the sinister mist moving towards them. It was clear that they were being ambushed. Now everyone was at battle stations - and the dwarves were finally working to get the bridge finished before the fimir could strike.

At this stage, 3 dwarf crossbowmen (who should, by rights, have been working, but had nipped to the pub for a few brunchtime pints) were arriving in the north-east and wondering what all the fuss was about. Seeing the fimir mist advancing along the river, they fire a few crossbow bolts towards the apparent enemy, but these have little effect.

Enraged, but still dazzled by the light, Gislea the Fimir Warlord stumbles towards the dwarves - moving even further away from the rest of his host, with their protective mist. The rest of the fimir, accompanied by foul marsh crawlers, the embodiments of the primordial deep, continued to advance towards the place were the bridge was being built, while the demonic swamp vermes slithered into a copse.

The elementalist Fayana, taking charge of the situation, had given the Nobridge militia instructions to move towards the construction site and to defend the dwarf engineers as they made the push to finish the bridge. Trying to buy them time to complete their work, Fayana summmoned the winds of magic to slow the advancing fimm warriors in their track. At the same time, with the swamp vermes emerging from the copse, the elf archers accompanying Fayana peppered the foul creatures with arrows - only to watch in horror as these demonic worms simply tore in two, apparently doubling their number!

Meanwhile, the clanging of the bell had woken a river troll with one hell of a headache. Finding himself particularly peeved at all of the comings and goings, he stumbled towards the riverbank, ready to find the pesky miscreants making all this racket.

The swamp vermes were now in range to attack the elf archers; although in their weakened state, the arrows made short work of half of them, reducing each to a puddle of worms that saught shelter in the ground. Back in the river channel, the winds of magic were pinning the fimir warriors back, making every movement a struggle. Derach the Demented Dirach realised that it would be necessary to enter into Fayana's mind and attempt to wrest her concentration away from the spell. Attempting to steal her mind, however, would take a great deal of mental potency... Fayana could feel the pain building up as Derach probes the inner recesses of her mind, but for now, she held her concentration... just.

Taking advantage while the fimm warriors were being held back, the elven wardancers skipped to the other side of the river, ready to engage the marsh crawlers making their way towards the construction site.

The Fimm could still only shuffle forward... they were nearly in range to charge, but not quite. Derach the Demented Dirach continued to try and steal Fayana's mind... by now the pain was becoming quite unbearable. And yet, though Derach had reached into her mind, could read her memories by now, could feel her mental pain as well as his own, Fayana held her concentration.

The wardancers now charged the marsh crawlers. Again, their goal was to delay the attacking force and give the dwarves a chance to complete the bridge. And so, in their dance, they sought to tranfix the crawlers, almost hypnotising them, weaving their bodies around until the appendanges of the crawlers seemed to be writhing in time with the elves' dance.

The captain of the militia, seeing how much of a struggle it was for the fimir to actually move forward under the influence of Feyana's spell, successfully gave the order to his troops to edge back, remaining a safe distance from the Fimm Warriors. This enraged the Fimir, whose bloodlust had reached great heights, and it enraged Derach the Dirach even more. Screaming, he opened his mind as a conduit to the forces of chaos, hoping to use the power to finally rip through Fayana's consciousness. The pressure inside his head - and Fayana's head - built up and up, until the pain was unbearable - then suddenly something within him felt like it was exploding. All was white. All was silence.

When he awoke, he was no longer surrounded by the Fimm. He seemed to be somewhere else altogether. What had happened? He blinked. Confused, it suddenly dawned on him: he could see... he had been blind for years, and suddenly he could see. And whose body was this? Why was he so much larger than he remembered?

Derach tried to get to grips with his new situation. What had happened? Had the force of chaos ripping through his mind, had the attempt to leave his own mind and enter Fayana's gone so wrong that he had left his own body? And if so, whose body was he now occupying?

At the same time, the warlord Gislea realised that something was badly wrong. Up to this point, deprived of the fimir's mystical mist through his own arrogance, he had simply been wandering in a daze around the battlefield - sometimes stopping from time to time for a sit down. Now suddenly he became acutely conscious that he was not where he had been... on the contrary, he was surrounded by the Fimm once again... but he could not see anything... he was completely blind. And what was this weedy body he now possessed?

The elf archers, who had now disposed of the swamp vermes threat, were free to turn their attention to the Fimm warriors, and so charged the fimir in the flank while the Nobridge militia engaged them in the front. The Fimir's nerve was tested, but they held.

The wardancers had now managed to distract the swamp crawlers for an impressive length of time, but it was clear they could not continue this dance of distraction forever. Instead, their dance turned lightning quick, raining down attacks on the crawlers; yet this dance was much less successful, allowing the crawlers tendrils to wrap around three of the wardancers, paralysing them.

The remaining dancers returned to their dance of distraction, and once again this was successful in transfixing the crawlers. Yet something rotten had come over one of the elves. He and his fellows realised with horror that the dancer had contracted the deadly fen ague, which even now was putrifying his body. They were tempted to panic and flee... and yet the dance must go on... the crawlers must be held back. And so they held fast.

The fate of the bridge still hung in the balance, though, with the great central melee to hold back the fimm warrior menace ongoing. As the Fimm swung their weapons, Elves and Men repayed their violence blow for blow. Gislea the Warlord, not understanding how he could now find himself in the useless body of the blind Dirach he had so reviled, swung his axe hopelessly, trying to land a strike on something, somewhere. His actions were in vain, and he was swiftly slaughtered. All the same, the fimm pushed onwards, grinning manically as man and elf fell beneath their axes. The Fimm seized the advantage to wrap around their opponents.

At this stage, the gnomes of gnome tower also charged into the combat. They found themselves suprisingly successful in inflicting harm upon the fimir - more successful than the humans and elves, in fact - but it was not enough, and the casualties the fimm warriors were causing were simply too great in number, so content that they had done their bit, the gnomes decided to run away. As did the elves. As did the militia.

Among the wardancers too, things were going badly. The ague had spread to each and every one of their number. The horror of the situation was not lost on them... infected, doomed to wander alone for the rest of their lives as rotting pariahs. But with nothing else left to live for, they continued their dance of distraction.

The Fimm warriors seemed to be in the ascendant. Now, trying to clear a way to finally attack the bridge construction site, they charged the fleeing Nobridge militia.
This proved to be a grevious mistake. The militia continued to run like buggery. But the fimm warriors, unable to engage the militia in combat, were now unformed. The elementalist Fayana saw an opportunity and, taking the risk that psychology was mightier than fimir muscle, threw herself into the combat. No blows were struck; but nevertheless the unformed unit, unable to understand what was going on, panicked and fled.

The whole battlefield resounded to the sound of laughter as the defenders of the bridge at nobridge - now all but complete - watched a single elf sorceress chase a unit of Fimm from the battlefield. Inspired, the dwarf crossbowmen, who had finally reached the action, charged and, alongside the final unparalysed wardancers, pushed back the marsh crawlers - who, unstable, dematerialised and returned to the demonic plane.

Victory - and a completed bridge - for the people of Nobridge and their allies!

And so the story is almost told... except... what happened to Derach the Demented Dirach, now inhabiting the body of a mighty warlord? It took him some time, but he slowly got the hang of his new body, and decided to try it out.
Finally (after what seemed like an age of both he and the troll failing to see one another and wandering around like imbeciles), he saw his chance to draw blood, and with a mighty blow of the war hammer, crushed the creature's skull. His clan may have lost the battle, but for Derach, the day seemed to be looking up...

Back at their settlement, the fimm were quick to cast blame. The majority agreed: blame must fall squarely on the shoulders of their warlord, Gislea, who had abandoned the warriors of his clan to go his own way. And yet none could find the words to confront him. Firstly, when the warlord had eventually caught up with the fleeing unit of fimm - and the elementalist chasing them - he was quick to rally the troops and to put the elementalist into captivity. Secondly, when the fimm of Clan Slea looked at their warlord, they could see there was something different about him. None could explain it, but it was as though Gislea's body was being controlled by another...

"Ssssso, the elf female that managed to chase the mighty warriorssss home... bring her to me..."


  1. You've done a sterling job there my friend, I thoroughly enjoyed reliving the fun with your write-up. Not sure I'm content to allow you to act out your depraved elf-maid fantasies on Fayana though, the newly formed Plague-Elf Suicide Cult is on the way to rescue her just in the nick of time!

    1. Sounds like a great future battle once I've had the chance to diversify my fimir a little bit! Plus I'll need to try and think about marshy terrain pieces and what a fimir settlement would like like for to launch such a rescue operation...

    2. Let's make it happen! I will dig around for some diseased looking Elves...

  2. Replies
    1. Many thanks, was a great day, partly because of the wonderful gaming venue, but largely because I was playing with two good lads who knew how to tell a good story with their game-playing!