Highball and Dragons #1
2022-05-21

Highball and Dragons #1

"Gin and Dragons" becomes "Highball and Dragons". For our third campaign, Gary is the referee and he decided to re-use the world of our previous adventures, northwestern Europe in the Viking age.

We are a strange trio. I am playing Abd-al-Wahab (quickly nicknamed "Aby"), a wanderer from far Arabia. Bernhard is a Lombard wanderer who seems to have magical abilities. And finally there is Tertius a former roman slave, a man of considerable strength. Somehow we all ended up living in a village in the northeast of what will become England, so Danelaw.

(In order to play quickly, I had previously rolled 9 characters. I folded the sheets and put them on the table. Each picked a sheet and thus our group was formed.)

All the warriors of the village were out for some raid and left us to carry menial tasks. Our mission for the morning was to set up, under the direction of old man Yvor, idol-like scarecrows between the forest and the cultivated area of the village.

It was comical to have our "international" team trying to set up the idols in a meaningful way, with old Yvor telling us do it whatever way we wanted. Quickly, Tertius, our fighter, felt like scouting ahead in the forest, Bernhard went with him for support and Aby volunteered to set up the idol scarecrows meanwhile "just shout if anything goes wrong in the forest".

Tertius and Bernhard quickly came back, not willing to go too deep in the woods and were starting to devise ways to keep in touch with us in the fields when a shout, very like an order, was heard in the forest. We had just set up the scarecrows in two rows facing the forest. An old man from the village, Erik, emerged running from the woods, screaming "They are coming!".

We started taking cover behind the scarecrows, readying our ranged weapon, while keeping an eye on the edge of the forest. Two big boars came charging at us. Tertius despatched the first of them with his seax. Bernhard and Abe somehow missed the other boar. There was a second order shouted from the forest and a hellish thing came flying in, and Tertius became the target of this gargoyle and of the second boar.

Bernhard cast a spell of darkness on the face of the gargoyle, it fell on the ground screaming. Tertius struck down the remaining boar. A third shout was heard and a wide green light blinded us all.

We opened our eyes and the gargoyle was gone. We examined the boars, they had markings, something between a skull and a grinning face. We were tempted to bring back the boars to the village for their meat but those markings made us renounce. We were tired by the fight and its excitement (exhaustion level + 1). So we headed back to the village.

As we were just about to pass the gate of the settlement, there was yet another order shouted, we looked behind our shoulders and noticed that the vanir effigies we had set up were animated and following us...

We all moved to the gate, closed half of it and readied our ranged weapons. We downed one scarecrow and we then closed the gate completely. Our new enemy didn't move much else. After a while, we risked ourselves outside, prodded the wooden sticks, and then decided to stack them and burned them.

initiative board on the left, status counters for each player

The two fights and the burning left us exhausted, we decided to take some rest. I (Aby) stood watch at the main gate. Tertius said he was going to relieve me after two hours, but he didn't came. The old Yvor summoned me and Bernhard in the long house. Tertius was probably sleeping like a log.

Yvor admitted that there was someone after him behind these shouts and these creatures sent at us.

There were a few disquieting sounds outside, and the smell of burning accompagnied the waking up of Tertius in his house not far from the central longhouse. The fighter opened a breach in his wall and escaped to the outside followed by his wife. There were two hooded non humans expecting them, they captured Tertius' wife. One block away, Tertius saw a powerful fighter riding some kind of boar larger than a horse.

At that point, Bernhard and I tried to open the door of the longhouse and noticed it was locked. The chief Bjorn and his wife hid in the cellar, refusing to opening to us. As the longouse clearly started burning, we decided we had to get out, we got into the animal pen on the west side of the building. We caught a glimpse of one of those giant boar riding fighters.

Like Tertius did, we quickly came to the conclusion that we couldn't take down the beast and its rider.

At that point, Gary, the referee, tempted us with the well-like entrance of some kind of tunnel. We instead all decided to run for one of the boats moored on the river behind the village. Somehow, during the escape, Bernhard and Tertius caught each a glimpse of more of the opposition that was overwhelming the village. Gary took each of the players and showed them the mini for the adversary.

Tertius couldn't do much for his wife. Hoping Bernhard could use his magic to locate his wife later on, the fighter stole a piece of gear of one of the guys who took the woman as he ran for the river.

stapled rules and character sheet, both A4 landscape

Yvor and Erik decided not to get roasted and followed us through the south gate. Tertius, knowing that the creatures were after Erik, decided to leave a bait behind, and, trying to take a handful of hair from the old man, almost took away half the scalp.

(Tertius constantly misnamed Yvor as "Ivan", and Yvor had to correct him every time, this scalp attack on Yvor's friend probably sealed Yvor's aversion for Tertius.)

We got on the boat, Tertius rowed, Bernhard used his quarterstaff to push us away from the border and I simply cut the cables. We were on a boat.

Bernhard and Tertius put their information together, one saw a powerful warrior and leader, while the other saw a dragon. Everybody agreed that fleeing was best, but what next?

...

Many thanks to Gary! Excellent referee work! We had a lot of fun!

 

Highball and Dragons #1
Highball and Dragons #2
Highball and Dragons #3
Highball and Dragons #4