Isle of Dread, Chapter 3: Big trouble, small bridge

After having raided the pygmy village Malcon and his party continued in a northbound direction, following the trail which ultimately should lead them to a large lake of tar called Kukos by the natives in Tanaroa. The dense jungle surrounding the party was gradually beginning to change character, becoming more open and giving way to some hills and cliffs, however, no tar lake in sight. Continuing northward the group suddenly could hear the sound of running water, followed shortly after by some very odd bird calls. Clearly something was amiss and when the travelers beheld a stream of muddy water running through the jungle, across which someone had put a cloven bole, Malcom and his fellow knew they were approaching a trap.

Slowly they started approaching the stream and as soon as Daff, one of the henchmen, began walking across the water on the toppled tree, foul reptile men charged.

Malcon’s travel route and position (the X) after three sessions of play

In this third chapter of our Isle of Dread-campaign Malcon and his party are being attacked by a mixed warband of lizardmen and troglodytes led by the nefarious snakeman Zzifth. Three lizardmen guards were hiding by the tree bridge while the remainder of the attackers entered the table from the flank. The scenario was a classic bottleneck situation made extra difficult by the fact that the two packmules had next to no inclination to cross the stream.

The rules for the scenario were simple; the main part of Zzifth’s warband, including Ziffth himself, would arrive on the table edge at a 6+ roll – the target number being lowered by one each turn. Malcon and his party would thus have some time to attempt to cross the water and get off the table before the majority of the reptile warband arrived on the scene. Fighting from the bridge was difficult (-1 to hit) and if hit, the model should make an Initiative-test or be pushed into the stream.

Moving through the stream was difficult, reducing movement to 1”. This applied for everyone except the small lizardmen, who could move freely in the muddy water. To get the packmules across the improvised bridge a Leadership-roll was needed. Something which worked fine for the first mule, but the second mule absolutely refused to move and blocked the bridge for several turns. Moving the mules trough the muddy stream would demand a Leadership-test for each 1” and the bridge was accordingly the preferred way across. The aim of the two forces was fairly simple; Malcon had to cross the table with as many men alive as possible, while Ziffth had to prevent this and kill as many as possible.

The game was great fun and ended in a big, bloody fight around the bridge. Two of Malcon’s henchmen succeeded in holding of the lizards for a while and thereby giving the rest of the party time to come across the stream. Sadly this heroic sacrifice led to the death of Henk, who did not make his recovery roll after the game. May he rest in peace.

It is funny to note how the crossbows really were a major force in the previous game, while they did absolutely nothing this game. Then again, our halfling thief Jolly Drake, suddenly did surprisingly well with his sling, killing several lizardmen in a series of surprisingly lucky dice rolls. Good times! Our next game in the campaign is schedules to mid-September.

This is what the game looked like.

The 4×4 table lay-out.

Malcon’s party enters the table edge carefully scouting for enemies

Malcon’s party of jungle explorers

Kenza, the warhound, was the first to run across the cloven bole

Once Daff stepped out on the bridge lizardmen came forth from their hiding place and attacked

Daff was quickly downed due to the restrictions imposed on him for fighting from the bridge. The rest of the reptile warband was now entering the table

More of the party began to cross the bridge while being attacked by the small, fast lizaardmen

In the last scenario the party rescued the barbarian Ghimar and he was now leading the party across the bridge. Sadly Ghimar proved completely worthless in this scenario where he went down facing the first lizardman he faced

Lizardmen and troglodytes approaching

Kenza bravely started chasing the advancing reptile creatures

Charging enemies

The first mule across thanks to the efforts of Peter the Melancholic. The rest still had to cross, while the reptiles came closer and closer

Without much help on his side of the river, Peter was soon charged by a fast lizard warrior

Enemies getting still closer

The champion of the reptile warband, the vile Zzifth, was now out in the open

Henk charged down to hold off the lizards while Malcon attempted to drag a stubborn mule across the bridge

Henk outnumbered

Ricco coming to Peter’s rescue. In the two previous games Ricco has been fairly incompetent and this game proved nu different!

Finally Malcon got the mule across the bridge

Fighting was going on at both sides of the bridge now

Jolly Drake fired his sling from the bridge with great effect

Zzifth leaving his men for greater prey

Malcon joins the fight on the other side of the bridge

Malcon’s party prepares for another lizard charge

A lumbering troglodyte approaching through the underbrush

Killing all around

A brave trog trying his dexterity on the bridge

Foolish Panna charged Zzifth but was quickly downed by the hideous snake creature

Peter the Melancholic succeeded in gathering his magic and wounding Zzifth with a fireball. The snakeman was now angry

The party was slowly backing away in order to leave the table with the precious mules carrying all the supplies

Zzifth by the bridge

Zzifth succeeded in using his hypnotic gaze on Ricco, paralyzing him on the spot. Malcon thus had to run back and rescue his friend from the approaching lizards

Fierce Mulio killing a lizard

Malcon fighting the last troglodyte

Finally Malcon reaches the paralyzed Ricco and shakes him free from the hypnotic spell of Zzifth

Malcon and his party leave the table, effectively winning the combat and leaving the very angry Zzifth behind. “We will meet again,” he shouted in his dark, reptile tongue

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