Author Topic: A Tilean Campaign (Warhammer Fantasy Battle)  (Read 31210 times)

padre

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Re: A Tilean Campaign (Warhammer Fantasy Battle)
« Reply #195 on: October 21, 2019, 09:18:24 PM »
I know what I did with that photo. I copied the wrong sort of code from Imgur. Should be fixed now.

So, here's the next piece - the final part of the general report. Hopefully my turn around times are reaching satisfactory levels Damian!


Another excerpt from Bonacorso Fidelibus’s work: “The Many Wars of the Early 25th Century”

Autumn, 2403 continued

In the central parts of the peninsula, war had wracked the realms as would a violent storm or a great wave washing back and forth repeatedly, wrecking all in its path with each passage. The city of Trantio, ravaged by the War of the Princes, wasted by the plundering progress of Boulderguts’ brutes, then polluted when possessed by the putrid army of the Church of Nagash, had now been captured by the Grand Alliance army commanded by Lord Alessio Falconi of Portomaggiore. Having driven the undead force from the field of battle in the Valley of Norochia, then decimated the rest of the army as it fled north, a large portion of Lord Alessio’s great army had been forced to tarry some time, due to the need to cleanse the realm of corruption. Just as had happened twice at Viadaza, there were thousands of corpses to be destroyed, so that the evil that had animated them might be prevented from doing so again. Great pits were dug for the burning of the corpses in the necropolis valley, then the land was re-consecrated, while every corner of every building, street and alley in the city was scoured for now dead undead. Bones both bloody and dry were piled upon carts, most of which were taken to the valley for burning, but some were burned in lesser gardens of Morr within the city precincts. Here a severed limb still twitched, there a lipless jaw snapped shut, while many a rotting hand clutched and grabbed, as the evil curse that had once gripped the city lingered. Priests accompanied all the labourers and soldiers as they went about their horrible work, praying incessantly to ensure that the dead remained dead until they could be turned to ash.



Lord Alessio led the rest of the army, by far the biggest contingent, north, moving as rapidly as possible in the hope of catching what small fraction of the enemy had escaped his army. By the time he reached the ruins of the walled town of Scorcio, however, he had come to accept he could not hope to catch the foe, for the enemy’s tireless legs made him quick. Furthermore, both Scorcio and Preto had been as badly tainted as the city of Trantio, and to leave them unremedied would have been dangerously reckless. And so the great army’s advance was temporarily prevented by the necessities arising from its already achieved successes and progresses. 

The last of the enemy, reduced to a mob of once-dedicant zombies, who even in undeath remained frantic and strange in their motions, as well as a company of more ancient, osseous warriors, were commanded by one of the duchess’s favoured servants, her archpriest Biagino. Once he served Morr, gifted by visions and so driven by inspired purpose to be one of the leading agents in the raising of the god’s holy armies, but now, since his capture, he had become a twisted mockery of his once-living self. Running night and day without halt, taking the most barren and inaccessible route to make pursuit all the harder for any who attempted to do so, he led the last remnant of his army back towards his beloved lady.



Some powerful and wicked sense, a gift of his cursed affliction, directed him towards Ebino, where the Duchess Maria was. She had utterly overwhelmed the army of Morrite dedicants who had marched to face her, killing them to a man. Their bodies lay thickly about the earthwork defences they had fashioned for their camp, along with the cooling corpses of dishonoured Reman palazzio guard (sent to serve Father Carradalio a consequence of their inaction during the Discplinati’s seizure of Remas).



While a living commander would have been faced with the inconvenience of clouds of fat flies and the overpowering stench of a thousand corpses requiring burial, she and her necromantic servant Safiro saw only an opportunity to increase the fighting strength of her army. For hours and hours, perhaps days, she and foul Safiro conjured dark, magical energies to coalesce within and animate the corpses …




… so that one by one, the once-holy army of the Disciplinati di Morr and the Reman guardsmen struggled to their feet, then staggered, ungainly, away from the defences …



…  to muster themselves awkwardly outside, there to await the duchess’s further command.

Perhaps the unnatural strength and agility possessed by so many vampires allowed (that which was once) Maria to stroll easily, even regally through the carnage of battle …



… to beckon up the dead with a calmly sinister gracefulness? Whatever the truth, the ultimate fate of blessèd Father Carradalio’s Disciplinati di Morr, in horribly direct opposition to their most earnestly, painfully determined goal, was merely to swell the stinking ranks of the duchess’s Ebinan army. Round and round the horror churned, as now yet again another army would have to face the foe in battle, to kill that which was already dead.



In Campogrotta there was a new ruler - or at least a ruler-in-waiting, serving an apprenticeship of sorts before obtaining sole possession - for King Jaldeog of Karak Borgo had gifted the entire realm, in a sorry state indeed after the harsh rule of the ogres, to the condottiere commander of the Compagnia del Sole, Captain Bruno Mazallini. This was done in part as payment of debts, for the king had hired the company to assist in his war against Boulderguts’ lieutenants, but then won the war before the mercenaries arrived. But mostly it was done because it was the quickest and easiest way to bring about the return of the realm back to health and security. There were contractual clauses to abide by, of course (such is the way of dwarfs), and a good number of King Jaldeog’s bearded servants yet remained in the city as friendly advisers. Within only weeks life in the city was beginning to return to normality.

Yet other hirelings, the Bretonnian Brabanzon, were marching north, with their fiery new commander, the Lady Perrette, as well as the still-sickly Baron Garoy and a strong contingent of Karak Borgo warriors, making their way to the realm of Ravola there to drive out the last of the brute-bullies Razger Boulderguts had left behind when he embarked upon his bloody chevauchee into the heart of Tilea.

In the city the Bretonnians had so recently departed, the taverns were once again filled with men and dwarfs, clattering tankards and puffing upon pipes, as they forgot their troubles and discussed the opportunities ahead of them.



But for many a week and more it was only those who came from outside the city who could feel any sort of true happiness. Those who had been in the city during its occupation, much reduced in number and to a person grieving the loss of neighbours, friends and family, wore haunted looks upon their faces and struggled to find words for even the most mundane moments. Perhaps some part of them sensed that the apparent return to their old, familiar way of life was transitory? That the future held new horrors sufficient and more to rival those of the past?

For unknown to almost everyone, sly and sinister agents already inhabited the shadows of the darkest hours, creeping surreptitiously through the streets, hither and thither …



… some to watch, others to whisper; for the hour of their coming, for which they had long prepared with complex machinations and conspiracies so deep as to be unfathomable, was at hand.
« Last Edit: October 21, 2019, 09:37:45 PM by padre »

damo_b

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Re: A Tilean Campaign (Warhammer Fantasy Battle)
« Reply #196 on: October 22, 2019, 01:10:56 PM »
great report,
kill one army of undead and another raises.
still a little slow but getting better  ;D

padre

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Re: A Tilean Campaign (Warhammer Fantasy Battle)
« Reply #197 on: October 25, 2019, 08:36:05 AM »
Well, with a little help from you, Damian, we have now moved on a bit!

For any others reading the thread, this story was put together by Damian (who else, as the story involves a conversation between himself and his closest adviser) and then re-written by me to better fit the campaign style of writing. Lots was swapped around, but nothing much was changed in terms of what was said. I did change a bullet hole in a map into a knife, but that was for the picture's sake ... after all, who would even have been able to see a minuscule, pin-prick bullet hole in a map 1 cm by 1.5 cm?

The story>

.................................................................


A TENT IN THE MIDDLE OF WAR
Somewhere in the realm of Trantio, at the end of Autumn 2403

Lord Alessio was glad he was alone. The flash of fury that had just driven him to thrust his knife into the table was not something he would wish his servants and officers to see.  He had a reputation for calmness and self-control to maintain. Still, he thought, he need not beat himself up about his impetuousness, for the news he had received would drive even the most meditative of monks to distraction. If his weakness was nothing more than the mere momentary desire to stick a knife into a map, then it truly paled into insignificance when compared to the weakness of the man whose actions had instigated his action - Duke Guidobaldo.

As his anger subsided, which it quickly did, he looked at the knife and chuckled. It had struck the map exactly where he intended, obliterating the inked name of Pavona in the process.

Movement at the entrance of the tent caught his eye, and he looked up to see Lord Black leaning into the tent.

“My Lord,” said his visitor. “May I?”

Alessio gestured to his friend to enter. As Lord Black strode in he looked immediately at the knife.

“I see you’ve heard the news,” he said, apparently understanding immediately what had just happened. “It never rains but it pours, eh? First the Sartosans sap us of the Luccinans, and now the soldiers of the VMC have become somewhat distracted by war against the Pavonans.”

“We are attempting to fight a war to save all of Tilea, Ned,” said Alessio, “against the enemy of life itself. And what does every other Tilean ruler do to help?”

“They set about attacking each other?”

“Of course! What else?”

Ned leaned upon his scabbarded sword and looked at the map. “Well, at least they’re all willing to fight,” he said.

Alessio gave a pained chuckle.

“So, what do we do?” asked Ned.



Alessio pondered a moment, then spoke, “As I see it, we have three options. We could march to Pavona in an attempt to convince the VMC not to sack the city, then deal with the duke.”

“So, you don’t believe his claim that the VMC murdered Lord Lucca?”

Alessio just rolled his eyes, then continued, “Or we could leave them both to their misery and return home. Whichever squabbling fools survive will have to face the duchess themselves.”

“Aye, and if they then lose for want of sufficient strength, we will end up fighting their walking corpses when the duchess makes them her own.”

“Which leads me to the third option,” said Alessio. “We can press on with the forces we have at our disposal regardless, to try our luck against the duchess despite our lack of allies.”

“Several have tried that before without much success. Do you think the army she commands is as strong as that we defeated in Norochia?”

“If she wiped out an entire horde of fanatical Morrites at Ebino, then she’s not lacking in strength.  I had thought of sending word to the mountain dwarves and the Compagnia del Sole to request that they dispatch a force to join us, but I’ve a feeling they’re still too distracted by the recapture of Campogrotta and the need to deal with the ogres remaining in Ravola. And now that Verezzo has been so badly wounded we can hardly expect their payments to continue, which makes simply feeding our army more difficult. I like and respect his son, as you know, but Duke Guidobaldo picked a terrible time to pull one of his bloody tricks. One would hope the VMC had been here long enough to realise that revenge is a dish best served cold.”

“Can we not put the spending at home on hold a while?” asked Ned. “Do we need a new harbour right now? Cannot Hakim wait a little longer for his lighthouse to be completed? And in light of the threat, even the Ravernans might be willing to show patience over the pace of the works in their realm.”

“We could save gold at home, yes” agreed Alessio, “but if the Sartosans move north then that gold will be needed at home.”

“So, which is it going to be?” asked Ned.

Alessio prized the knife from the map and pushed the torn edges where Pavona used to be flat again.

“That’s the question,” said Alessio.


padre

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Re: A Tilean Campaign (Warhammer Fantasy Battle)
« Reply #198 on: December 20, 2019, 05:44:15 PM »
Back Again!

This was the second time young King Ferronso had to return to his city in shame. It seemed strange to him to suffer the ignominy twice, but such was his life recently! Nothing was going right for him.

Once again, the sky was darkening angrily as a storm brewed, and like before he knew there would be no warm welcome awaiting him, rather scowling faces and half-heard grumblings. He had expected to return a conquering hero, yet this was as far from that as could be imagined, which laced his shame with heart-wrenching disappointment.

His one consolation was that his people did not know just how deep his guilt ran. If they had known, then instead of mere, muttering sullenness there would be mockery, the hurling of insults, even rocks. His own silence and that of his guards who shared his secret shame, was all that was needed to conceal the truth. It did not, however, stop guilt wracking the king himself.

That summer, Ferronso, brimming with hopeful pride, had ridden off with Lord Alessio of Portomaggiore to join the holy war against the vampire duchess’s servants. In his absence, his city and the realm surrounding it had been invaded and overrun by Sartosan corsairs, who stripped it of everything of worth, ravaged every lady, maid and wench they could find and killed any who complained or stood in their way, even those who merely looked askance at them. Meanwhile, just before the great battle of the Valley of Norochia, doubt suddenly assailed the young king, filling him with such a fear for his realm that he abandoned the ‘holy’ cause, leaving behind just sufficient strength to save face and hurried homewards with his royal guards. Returning too late to stop the pirates, he had now failed doubly: breaking both his vow to fight the vampires as well as neglecting his kingly duty to protect his realm.

But neither of these failures were what really troubled his conscience, rather it was the fact that when he had returned the Sartosan pirates were still there, ransacking his realm, and he had dared not interfere. His guards told him it would be not only tactical folly but almost certain death. So, he had hidden in the trees and watched as his enemies plundered all they could. Worse still, he had felt comforted by his soldiers’ words, for they meant he did not have to place himself in danger.

He had watched his people suffer while feeling relief that he should not interfere!

Now, under an ominous sky, he and his companions skulked home. An observer who knew nothing of what had happened would never have thought to employ the word ‘skulk’, for the king and his guards were gloriously attired in their most fashionable and expensive armour, plumed in copious ostrich feathers, riding the finest of mounts, barded in colourfully enamelled plates. But to the king, skulking back was exactly what they were doing.



Ferronso was deep in thought as he and his company drew near the city, wondering if his name had already been tarnished for the rest of time, before he had even fought one battle. ‘Ferronso the Absent’? ‘Ferronso the Fool’? The glowering sky reflected his dark mood. The city was quiet, as one might expect from a wounded animal, curled up in anguish. Although perhaps, thought the king, there should be the sound of whimpering?



He could hear his royal standard fluttering by his side, the jangle of harnesses, the clattering of armour and the thump of hooves as the heavily burdened, heavy horses trotted along. Although he knew the outskirts of the town were now close, he could not bring himself to lift his head and look, but instead fixed his eyes on his hand clutching the reins. Strange, he thought, those are the reins I had on my pony as a child! The memory was not a happy one, for he had taken far too long learning to ride, fearful first of the pony, then of falling, then of failure, and he had known even at the time that everyone noticed his fear. Had his guards witnessed a similar fear when he watched the pirates from the trees? Would his people see his fear as he rode through the streets to his palazzo? How could anyone hope to hide so much fear?

Reluctantly, he lifted his head and glanced at a little knot of people close by, and yes, they seemed as sullen as he had expected. There were not many of them – some children, some old folk, a few women and a monk. Not the crowd a returning hero would deserve, the crowd he had imagined when he had set off months ago with Lord Alessio.



Was it terrible, he now asked himself, to wish the pirates had burned his city and butchered these wretches, so that his present shame would not be witnessed? Of course it was, he chided himself. He would never want such a thing. In truth, what he really wanted more than anything was the privacy and comfort of his palazzo, where such pitiful folk could not see him. Let them live their miserable lives, as long as they could not heap that misery on him.

To reach the street leading to his palace, he had to ride further along the city’s periphery, and as he did so more people came out to watch. Like before, he tried not to look at them, but he could not help himself. This time he saw there were men among the people, some sturdy fellows too.

Where had they been when his city needed defending?

Why should he shoulder all the blame?



Then he realised the men were armed! This was something the Sartosans would never have allowed while they occupied the city, which meant these fellows must surely have fled, returning only after the pirates had departed. What base cowards could do such a thing? Or perhaps these men hid their weapons during the brief and brutal occupation, cowering before the pirates and begging for mercy? What annoyed most was such men were able to stand amongst the people without any apparent malice directed towards them, while he himself had to suffer every sharp, accusative stare!

Something was niggling at him, more than his shame, more than his disgust that the men did not look ashamed too. There was something wrong about them. He could see a long-barrelled musket, a bearded fellow clutching two axes, a blunderbuss in the hands of a … dwarf!



A horrible thought struck him. Had some pirates stayed here in his city? Were his subjects so bruised and bewildered that they had feebly allowed these men to remain amongst them?

It made no sense. Unless … was this treachery? Had Barone Vettorio lied when he said the Sartosans had gone? Did his own courtiers and guards despise him so much that they were willing to hand him over to his enemies? Was he to be given as a hostage until the pirates had whatever else they wanted?

All these thoughts were surely madness. His burning guilt must be broiling his brains and addling his mind. It was the barone who had advised him against challenging the pirates with a force entirely insufficient to defeat them. If any should be blamed for inaction and made a hostage, it should be the barone!

Or did that make no sense? He shook his head in confusion, unable to straighten his thoughts, nor order them sensibly. Who had done what to whom with whose help? And why, oh why had they done it?

There were more people gathered further along. Once again, he stared at his horse’s reins to busy his mind with the act of riding and so avoid looking upon his subjects. The reins were not those of his old pony as he had first thought. Of course not. They could not possibly be - his horse was far too big for them. What had he been thinking?

Then something caught his eye – another gun! More than one! And more vicious looking men. And … unbelievable! The gurning, green face of a goblin, armed with a monstrous handgun decked with a barrel-load of barrels! Worse than that - two goblins and an orc!



They were there right in front of him, standing among his subjects, who paid them no heed. This was impossible. Was everyone blind?

“Look, look there,” he ordered Sir Ormanno, the royal standard bearer at his side.

Ormanno did not seem to hear him, or perhaps did not want to hear him. Indeed, Ferronso spied a flash of disdain in Ormanno’s face, as if he found the very sound of the king’s voice annoying.

Ferronso felt no anger at this, however, for he was so nonplussed at the presence of greenskins in his city that there was little space left in his thoughts for other concerns.

“How?“ he began. “Why?“ His words faltered. He did not know what to ask, nor who to ask it of. Words failed him entirely.

There was a sudden noise from somewhere within the city. A thunderclap. Yet the sky, though dark, was surely not quite heavy enough for a storm.  The came another boom, like the last.

Was it cannon-fire?

His horse seemed oblivious to the sound; his guards ignorant of it. Why could only he hear it? More than this, there were other sounds too that made no sense. He could hear wind and lashing rain, despite there being no such things. And though the people, including the greenskins, stood silent, he could hear shouting too.

I’m not going into the city, he decided, and pulled on the reins. But the reins were rotten and snapped, leaving him clutching their ragged remnants. His company of guards, despite his unvoiced wish to flee, were turning to go into the city; his horse, unyielding to any command and now reinless, was drawn along with them. Before them stood more people, almost a crowd. This time they were pirates all, plain as day, including goblins, brutish orcs and sea dogs clutching every kind of gun.

Why couldn’t his guards see?



Why had Vettorio allowed him to come here? Where was the barone? Everything was wrong. It was obviously not safe to return to the city.



Another boom sounded, startling him. And someone was shouting.

“Wake up sire! Please, hurry!”

There was a man before him, sharply silhouetted by the bright light flashing through the window behind.

“The Sartosans came back, sire. Wake up!”

It was Vettorio’s voice. A peal of thunder followed the flash, the same as the sound in his dream. As soon as Ferronso sat up in his bed, Vettorio took his hands and began hauling him out.

“The storm must have forced them back,” said the barone. “The streets are swarming with them! Hurry, please sire, we must leave. We must get you to safety!”
« Last Edit: December 22, 2019, 12:31:59 PM by padre »