Saturday, April 20, 2024

Rangers of Shadow Deep - The Bridge Guards

The third scenario from Rangers of Shadow Deep Standard Edition. Played with Martin's hand-drawn 20mm figures and pop-up terrain. 

The Mission

Only hours after you arrived back from destroying the nest of spiders, you received a message from your commanding officer. Contact has been lost with the beacon tower of Tor Varden, and it is presumed to have been overrun. You are commanded to round up what men you can and proceed with all swiftness to Tor Varden to ascertain the truth. If the tower has fallen, learn what enemy forces now occupy it and harass or eliminate them as opportunity presents.

The Scenario

As you make your way towards Tor Varden, the gentle, rolling hills slowly give way to rocky plains, and finally into the boulder-filled maze known locally as ‘the Scree’. It is a barren, unnerving place – a perfect site for an ambush as the large rocks cut lines of sight down to just a few yards in most places. Proceeding cautiously, you eventually hear the Enthel River, which you must cross to reach Tor Varden. As you approach, however, you hear other noises as well, nearly drowned out by the river. Voices, of some inhuman type, a language filled with whines and barks.

Climbing to the top of a large boulder, you get a clear view down to the river. There, standing astride the old stone bridge is a pack of gnolls. Judging by the large cooking pot they have set up over the fire, these gnolls are camped here, likely to guard the bridge. The only other place to cross the Enthel River is a ford, in sight of the bridge, otherwise, it will take a least half a day to reach another crossing. There is nothing for it, the gnolls will have to be eliminated, as quickly and quietly as possible.

Our band of heroes consisted of two Rangers and their Companions:

On the left, Bill & Bull the Warhounds, Ranger Rogon Gosh Shadowstalker and Geoffrey the Archer.

On the right, Ranger Alan De Paladin with his companions Bill Bagskott the Archer and McGregor the Dwarf

The terrain was crowded with large rocks, small trees and shrubs which greatly restricted line-of-sight. The river was deep, fast running, shockingly cold and almost impassable except at a small stone bridge or a narrow ford.

Four gnoll archers patrolled the riverbank while a gnoll sergeant and two gnoll fighters guarded the bridge. Two additional gnoll fighters were in their camp, attending the fire.

The party tried using their sense of direction and stealth but with little result. 

So instead they advanced using the terrain to hide themselves from the patrolling gnolls. They split into two groups, a pincer manoeuvre, with Ranger Alan De Paladin moving to his right and Ranger Shadowstalker to his left.

The party spotted another gnoll fighter, who they had previously missed, appearing as if by magic from behind some shrubbery.

The party continued to creep forward, using the terrain to keep them hidden while the gnolls patrolled in what appeared to be a random and somewhat chaotic pattern.

Another gnoll that the party had not previously spotted appeared very closed to Ranger Shadowstalker and his companions. Shadowstalker, accompanied by Bill the warhound attacked immediately, killing the gnoll.

Alan De Paladin and his companions ganged up on a lone gnoll archer, and made quick work of him.

The gnolls were now alerted to the presence of our heroes. However the gnoll sergeant couldn't coordinate his troops and they moved forward in a haphazard fashion.

Shadowstalker and his companions jumped the nearest gnoll archer. The fight was fierce and Bull the warhound was so seriously cut up that he was out of the fight.

As if to lament the loss of Bull, a heavy rain started to fall which greatly reduced the range of vision and soaked the bowstrings making shooting dificult.

Alan De Paladin and his dwarven companion fought another gnoll.

The gnoll sergeant charged at Shadowstalker, Geoffrey and Bill. It was a hard fight. By the time they had beaten the gnoll, Shadowstalker was seriously wounded and he had to use a healing spell on himself.

At the same time as this fight with the sergeant was ongoing, Alan De Paladin and McGregor the Dwarf charged the gnolls on the bridge.

With a lucky shot, through the pouring rain, a gnoll archer shot Bill Bagskott the Archer. Bill is out of action for this fight, but may survive if given urgent medical attention, but will have a nasty scar for the rest of his life by which to remember this unfortunate encounter.

A giant Vulture was sighted flying high over the battlefield.

Alan De Paladin and McGregor killed the two gnolls guarding the bridge, just as a third gnoll fighter rushed in to attack.

By the ford, Shadowstalker, Geoffrey and Bill killed the last gnoll archer who had been patrolling the river.

The Vulture flew slowly and majestically down the centre of the battlefield, ignoring the carnage going on below.

The party rushed over the bridge, reaching the gnolls' camp and shot dead the last remaining gnoll.

In the gnolls' camp the party found a set of keys which were recognized as the keys to Tor Vardenx.

They also found a stash of gold and gemstones that will be given to the king to aid the war effort.

1 comment:

  1. I'm enjoying these episodes that look like illustrated pages from a book accompanied by an engaging text.
    It's a unique looking game. Thanks for posting,