Monday, May 24, 2010

Workbench Update: Ruins of Osgiliath

After discovering Maelstrom Games a while back, I couldn't resist jumping in on the free shipping and the great exchange rate from pounds to dollars. I ordered some flock, a magazine, and the newly-released Ruins of Osgiliath from Games Workshop. I don't play the Lord of the Rings but, since these pieces have such a generic quality, I knew I had to have them. Since they're fairly new I thought some of you might like to see some shots of the finished product.

Lots of room for Warmachine units to line up.

The leaf-work is generic enough for any setting as far as I'm concerned.

The Count engages in a summoning ritual to the Nameless Ones.

I also finished painting my Heroquest furniture this weekend. The sorcerer's table shown above, the stone sarcophagus pictured in earlier games, and everything shown below completes the collection. Combined with my floor cut-outs and the Heroquest doors, we are ready to take our games into the lost dungeons and forgotten catacombs of Eastern Europe.

One more word on the ruins before I finish up; a word of warning to be more specific. The large piece of the main ruin was fairly warped, so I conducted numerous hot water-cold water dunks to help re-straighten it. I improved it a fair deal but eventually had to use greenstuff to extend the base of the left-most wall. I'm still glad I bought them, and would definitely buy more but, for someone who is new to terrain-building, the warping would have likely been very vexing and certainly outside of what one should expect when dealing with a pre-fab kit.

Next up, I'm finally fixing up the GW tower that I bought a couple of years ago and never finished. It also had some assembly issues and, at the time of purchase, I never had the greenstuff ability to fix it properly. When the sculpting issues are repaired I'll paint it up and post it here for your perusal.

Thanks for reading,

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Count Adolphus Von Brechtenstein and his Daughters

"The nosferatu do not die like the bee when he sting once. He is only stronger, and being stronger, have yet more power to work evil. This vampire which is amongst us is of himself so strong in person as twenty men, he is of cunning more than mortal, for his cunning be the growth of ages, he have still the aids of necromancy, which is, as his etymology imply, the divination by the dead, and all the dead that he can come nigh to are for him at command, he is brute, and more than brute, he is devil in callous, and the heart of him is not, he can, within his range, direct the elements, the storm, the fog, the thunder, he can command all the meaner things, the rat, and the owl, and the bat, the moth, and the fox, and the wolf, he can grow and become small, and he can at times vanish and come unknown." - Professor Abraham Van Helsing

Castle Brechtenstein is nestled deep within the canopy of the Carpathians, far from the sight or thoughts of the civilized world. The castle serves as a lair for a foul nosferatu who calls himself the Count Von Brechtenstein. Whether this night hunter actually bears the name with any legitimacy or is simply a bestial imposter who has claimed the crumbling keep as his own is anybody's guess. Either by chance or design, most of the villagers who occupy the forested valleys seem to live in relative safety under the looming threat of the castle. However, those who dare to find themselves outside of their hovels after dark often pay the ultimate price and are never seen or heard from again.

Dark Daughters

In perverse fashion, the Count has chosen children rather than men or women as recipients of his dark gift. The reasoning for this choice is a mystery to all but the Count, but one thing is certain, his "daughters" are far more dangerous and savage than their initial appearances might indicate. Many a villager who has investigated the cries of a distressed child from the darkness have met with an untimely and gory end.

Lyleth is the oldest of the Count's companions, and is undoubtedly his favourite. She prowls graveyards, feasting in the company of ghouls, and prefers to move about in the shape of a great bat.

Lucretia is the most bestial of the four and can often be found hunting in the forests and hills, preferring isolation when making her kills. When she is taken over by blood frenzy she morphs her body in to the form of a ravening beast.

Bella and Hester are the most recent members of the "family," and perhaps latent human memories are responsible for their inclination to prowling around human farms and villages.

As if these hellish fiends aren't terrifying enough, it is not uncommon for the Count and his companions to be accompanied by other evil creatures - ghouls, giant wolves, bats, and most horrible of all, enslaved humans who have fallen under the vampires' hypnotic control.

Painted By:
JET (aka Jason)

Thoughts & Commentary

Soon after I decided to start Gothic Horror as a gaming genre, I stumbled upon Westwind's Gothic Horror miniature range, and more specifically, the Kindernacht blister pack. When I saw those child-like vampires I knew that I would have to paint them and use them. The Count himself is a model from one of Westwind's The Antagonists packs, blister packs that contain matched pairs of hunters and vampires. I have no idea what the model was intended for in the Vampire Wars game, but after ordering the pack blind and then seeing the model I knew it would be my head vampire.

Lucretia's beast form is, of course, one of my unused werewolf models. I painted the two models with the same colour scheme to help reinforce the fact that they are the same entity. Lyleth's giant bat form is a plastic D&D model that I repainted and based to match the rest of my Horror collection.

Next to the werewolf warband I've painted, these guys will be my other main Chaos in Carpathia warband. I look forward to giving Sir Thrustam and his companions even more to worry about as they make their way deeper into the Carpathian countryside.

Thanks for reading,

Sunday, May 16, 2010

The Curse of the Dertflinghans: Chapter Four


21 April. Old West Road - It is now two days since we left Dr. Grunberg's comfortable lodgings. According to the directions of Ernst Holdt (Dr. Grunberg's groundskeeper) Dertflinghan lies four days march east of the asylum. Our current camp, then, should be halfway between the asylum and our destination. It is a warm sunny morning, and we shall be embarking for the day shortly.

Last night we made camp in a small church in the midst of a tiny hamlet. Like the first settlement we encountered in this land, the entire place seems to have been recently abandoned by human occupants. This last statement is made in allusion to the hellish events that transpired last evening.

We arrived just before dark and found, again, that all of the buildings showed signs of recent occupation. Sir Thrustam was still recovering from his wounds and, after displaying some some resistance to the idea, agreed to take a sleeping draught prescribed by the professor. A makeshift cot was made in the cellar of the church, and after our leader was made comfortable, the rest of us began a quick search of the buildings and surrounding grounds as the twilight gathered about us.

It was during this search that the professor and I heard Egon, who was searching the other side of the settlement, calling out to some person. I remember that his tone seemed to suggest that he was talking to a child.

In the second that it took this thought to form, the professor, Johann, and I were startled as a young girl ran across a nearby building into the night. We called out to the child, but whether she fled from fear or ignorance, we couldn't be sure.

The professor and I decided that the appearance of the child necessitated a thorough search of the area. We prepared lanterns and torches and readied our weapons. It was then that the party was set upon in a most alarming fashion.

A savage beast came running from the direction in which the child had fled. I felt a sudden pang of guilt as a sudden realization came over me - by letting the child escape we had likely sealed her doom. No doubt the snarling figure who raced towards us from the blackness had slain the poor child. The professor and Johann began firing as the beast came into sight.

The creature was similar to the Great Wolf and his companions, but seemed more generically beast-like and less like a wolf. Specifics of its appearance notwithstanding, one fact was certain - it was charging forth with the intention of slaying my companions and myself.

We were further shocked when another figure charged swiftly from the dark night towards us. Although he was attired in formal evening dress, his face was a horrible countenance of pale savagery. He swung a sword about in a rather clumsy fashion, but I was more concerned by his sharp claws and the glistening fangs that protruded from his dripping jaws.

As we faced our own horror, Egon and Hans cried out in terror, attesting to the fact that all members of the party were all equally assailed.

The inevitable clash came as the canine creature leaped towards the professor and began flailing its mighty arms like some bloodthirsty ape. Prof. Alcock was thrown to the ground violently and used his blunderbuss like a club as he tried to block the brutal attack.

Meanwhile, the foul man-creature dashed towards me and tried to hold me down. Luckily, Uncle Amos's famous defensive move from his prizefighter days (known as "The Flying Poundwood") served me well and knocked the creature back for a moment. As the melee continued I became aware of a blood-curdling cry erupting from the professor. I looked over just in time to see the foul beast contorting and shrinking, and when the transformation was complete, the fleeing girl stood in its place. Now that I saw her from a closer vantage point, I could tell that she also displayed a horrible visage and that she was certainly the same type of creature as the elegantly-clad monster who beset me in combat. It was then that I realized that Johann was also engaged by one of the foul child creatures and in that moment I wished that Sir Thrustam were present. His fencing skills would have been most invaluable in our current plight... and it was then that I realized... Sir Thrustam... the cellar. I yelled my intention to my comrades as we made our way swiftly towards the abandoned church.

By the time we reached the door, Egon and Hans were already in the doorway, firing their rifles into the night. Johann and I rushed past them, helping the injured professor between us as we ran. After we crossed the threshold the Austrians slammed and barred the door. As soon as the door was closed, all was quiet. It was as if the entire scene were a dreadful nightmare. It crossed my mind that the church structure itself was likely consecrated ground, and that thought has set my mind on a new series of possibilities.

Regardless of last night's horrors, today we make our way towards Dertflinghan. Sir Thrustam seems recovered and the professor seems no worse for wear. However, I have noticed that ever since our last day at the asylum, Prof. Alcock seems strangely distant. I wonder if there has been some occurrence or discovery to which I am presently ignorant. I may approach him on the matter when a pertinent time presents itself. Until then, I shall proceed onward while keeping my own suspicions veiled. - EP

Game Talk:

Vampires. I love them. The young girl vampire models are from Westwind's Kindernacht blister pack and I think that they are some of the finest vampire models I've ever seen. The vampire warband (a nosferatu warband to be more specific) plays very differently from my werewolves. The vampires can attack normally, or they can go for a bite attack (which I did a couple of times). A successful bite means that the victim will only suffer a loss of one Vitality, but the vampire will cure one Vitality as a trade-off. The vamps are also particularly resilient to firearms.

The scenario was Seek & Find (one of our favourites) and I was victorious, both in number of KO's as well as in finding the most objectives. The vampires have a higher Mind stat than the werewolves and lunatics so they are better equipped to finding objectives.

I should also mention that Sir Thrustam missed a scenario based on his Injury roll after the last game. Have no fear - he and Rutter will be back for the next thrilling installment of The Curse of the Dertflinghans.

Thanks for reading,

Saturday, May 15, 2010

A Gaming Reflection

It's been a productive year for me in the geek department. In the past twelve months I've added to my Warmachine army, painted a substantial number of Gothic Horror models, finished two full Impetus armies, and created a metric ass-load of terrain. So, things are going well on the modelling and painting front, and as I have a new son being born in less than two months, this productivity is well-timed.

However, I've been pondering the other side of the hobby lately; that is to say, the gaming itself.  The perpetual question - Is there such a thing as being involved in too many games?  Can a geek be spread too thin, or is that just crazy talk? I've decided to ponder in writing the various games that are currently being played in our group with an eye to what lies ahead.

Warmachine & Hordes

My Cygnar force tussles with Marc's Cryx

The game that will always hold a special place in my heart, regardless of how frequently or infrequently I play it. Why you ask?  Simply put, it was Warmachine (and later Hordes) that save our group from the stranglehold of Warhammer 40k. The Privateer games are foundational in our group, and in addition to providing countless hours of play over the past few years, they showed us that there were so many better games beyond the insular world of the GW core games.


My 15mm Free Company ready to battle it out with the Milanese.

I remember the time in my life when talk of historical gaming caused me to glaze over and nod off.  When the time finally came that I was ready to dive in, after a few false starts it was the Italian ruleset Impetus that grabbed me. I absolutely love this game, and although Chris and I haven't played in over a month, Marc and I have been playing with the 6mm armies lately to bide our time until he finishes painting his 15mm medievals.

Chaos in Carpathia

A Transylvanian landscape ready to be fought over.

After our Old West campaign I was looking for another set of adventure rules with low model count, individual model activation, and character advancement. When I stumbled upon Chaos in Carpathia, my imagination was ignited in a most dramatic fashion.  We've been playing this one almost once a week since we got it off the ground, and with four warband-toting players in the group already, it isn't going anywhere anytime soon.

Legends of the Old West

The main street of Assumption, Oklahoma.

I put an awful lot of work into creating my Old West terrain and we had lots of fun playing the game, so you can bet we'll be playing more of it in the future.  It's been a few months but the fires are still burning strong for those who took part the last time around.  I'm predicting a new Old West campaign starting up fairly soon, but whether it uses LOTOW rules or Gutshot remains to be seen.

Future War Commander

Chris and Chris throw down for some 6mm FWC.

This is the new kid on the block in our group.  Chris has a 15mm GZG force painted and I've started my 15mm army just recently.  However, in the meantime Chris has been churning out all of these Battletech models he's had poked away. Others are also jumping on this one pretty quickly and I predict that it will become a mainstay in the group.

And that leaves us, where?

Good question.  There are still other games looming on the horizon.  Some of us have Alkemy models poked away, others have 10mm WWII, and other still have Firestorm Armada.  Let's not forget the 28mm Fantasy Impetus that some of us have begun.  And none of this begins to address the unannounced ideas floating around in people's heads right now.

So, to reiterate the original question... can a geek play too many games?

I admit that I've been feeling a pulled in many directions lately, and it's reached the point that I can't play everything in the group with regular frequency.  I guess that's OK, and it's perfectly acceptable to let some games ebb and flow through the months or years.  Since I've really come to enjoy painting and modeling for its own sake, I'm not always concerned that everything I paint gets lots of table time. I guess for the present I'll concentrate on finishing off some odds and ends (i.e Warmachine, Gothic Horror, some terrain items), do my best to concentrate on a few projects for which I've already acquired models (i.e. Alkemy, 15mm Sci-Fi, 15mm Irish, 28mm Fantasy Impetus), and try to stop myself from embarking upon anything new.

Thanks for reading,

P.S. I'll be receiving a copy of Where Heroes Dare for my birthday next month, but I'll just read it. I won't start any pulp gaming. I promise. I think. - J

Monday, May 10, 2010

The Curse of the Dertflinghans: Chapter Three


19 April. Grunberg's Lunatic Asylum - During the past number of years, I have followed Mannleigh into many far-flung and exotic places; the Peruvian Jungle, Antarctica's Mt. Takahe, and even the interior of the Dark Continent itself.  It is with the greatest conviction that I pen my next statement - In all of our previous destinations and encounters, there has never yet been the equal of this place in both horror and danger. Never.  But I shan't waste paper describing events which have already been recorded in earlier entries.  Instead, I shall focus on recalling the most recent events of our journey, that is to say, everything that has transpired since the party arrived last night at Dr. Franz Grunberg's lunatic asylum.

After our run-in with the bestial wolf-men three nights previous, we made our way along the Old West Road until we came to the foreboding structure of the asylum.  As we walked across the main grounds I couldn't help but be struck by the vast weight of the place.  Although the structure originally served as a hunting lodge for Dertflinghan's elite, it couldn't have more adequately served its current purpose.  It was as if the architect had a premonition as to the future use of his mighty edifice.

As we approached the main entrance, an elderly gentlemen displaying an air of courteous authority  came forth to greet us.  It was apparent that he recognized the troubled lunatic who was in our custody.

"Why my Dear Nell," he ejaculated in a surprised tone. "You have found your way back to us.  What thanks can I offer you fine gentlemen for returning her safely?"

After formal introductions were exchanged, Nell was led away by a lovely young lady (who I later learned was the good doctor's stepdaughter, Ms Emmalina Grunberg), while Mannleigh, Ms. Poundwood and myself were brought into a most comfortable drawing room on the asylum's top floor.  After brandy, port, and cigars were distributed, we all made ourselves comfortable while we explained to the doctor the circumstances which had led us to his doorstep. Dr. Grunberg also explained the nature of his institution, and although we were both medical men, I found him somewhat close on the subject of his treatments and practices.  In any event, we enjoyed a much needed evening of relaxation, the highlight of which was Ms. Poundwood's capitol rendition of Verdi's La Forza Del Destino on Dr. Grunberg's refurbished Stodart piano.

We were all offered very comfortable accommodations for the evening, and I found the doctor and his lovely stepdaughter to be most auspicious hosts.   As I lay in a state of complete tranquility on my feather mattress, I was startled by a low growling outside my window.  As I peered out into the darkness I saw the doctor`s groundskeeper Ernst Holdt trudging into the forest with his great dog.  I found it odd that a man would wander so freely in this country after nightfall, but gave it no more thought and quickly fell into a restful sleep.

It was about 2:00 in the morning when my companions and I awoke to a horrendous cacophony of howling and growling.  As I peered out of my ground floor window I was filled with terror.  The Great Wolf and a veritable army of his ilk were advancing towards the asylum.  I dressed most hastily, gathered my arms, and ran through the halls towards the main entrance.

Mannleigh and I almost collided in the foyer. We burst through the front door, he with Flasher drawn, and I with my trusty carbine at the ready.  The air suddenly filled with the crack of gunfire, and we realized that our Austrian allies (who had been camped out on the grounds) were already felling wolves with practiced skill. However, they were not felling enough for my liking.

From around the back of the building a great pack of wolves was pouring towards us.  I fired off a cracking shot with the blunderbuss that killed at least three of the beasts (thank the Lord I split my time between the library and the firing range) while Mannleigh put two down with his pistol.  Even with this impressive display of ballistics, close quarter fighting was inevitable.  The night was a torrent of growling, snapping and clawing.  At some point during the confusion, I was aware of the Great Wolf and his companions leaping down from the top of the asylum with supernatural agility and power.   It was quite difficult to determine how the situation would play out.  The darkness was blinding and a few minutes into the melee, one of the mighty beasts pummeled me with great force and I lost consciousness. It wasn`t until I regained my wits the following morning that Dr. Grunberg explained how the battle had concluded.

Apparently, Mannleigh fought on until he too was incapacitated.  Ms. Poundwood, finally overrun by the brutes, had no choice but to retreat into the asylum and barricaded herself in the drawing room.  Around the same time, Johann and the wolf hunters, exhausted of ammunition, had retreated into a potting shed to defend themselves.  Shortly after, as quickly as the attack had begun, the Great Wolf and his companions disappeared into the night with the lunatic Nell in tow.

Up to this point, I haven`t had the luxury to embark upon scholarly deduction, but now that I sit in this beautiful garden, mind and body enveloped in the security of daylight, I began to ponder.  I shall list my musings in no particular order and leave them neglected until I obtain further evidence or greater enlightenment.

How is it that Mannleigh and I live?  The beasts could have easily devoured us, but after we were downed, they left us in peace?  If they have no lethal intent, why do they attack us?  Have we incited them in some way?

The inmates of this place are treated in the underbelly of the building.  As a medical man, why has the doctor not invited me in particular to observe his work?  Is there something sinister at work, or does this chain of thought point to personal paranoia on my part?

There has yet been no sign of the old Dertflinghan man whose correspondence led us to this cursed place.  Have we crossed paths and bypassed him or has he met with some pernicious end?

As I alluded to previously, the holding area of the asylum is underground and well-fortified.  The great iron door that blocks the stairway to the cellars is most formidable. Although they might possess the supernatural strength necessary to shatter the door, I noticed that the door was in a state of perfect maintenance this morning? How then did these creatures free Nell? I questioned Dr. Grunberg on this point, but he was amicably evasive.

This last point I hesitate to write, for it seems to solidify the sense of loathing and suspicion that has coloured my outlook since we have come to this dark corner of the world. As I took my coffee and pastry in the reading room this morning, I noticed papers on the writing desk.  My attention was drawn to them, for written in a bold hand, I saw the same runic characters that Ms. Poundwood and I found on the sarcophagus some days ago!  I shall keep this knowledge to myself for the present.  I think it is the wisest course - RA.

Game Talk:

We actually played the Rescue scenario from the original scenario list in the main rulebook.  It turns our that Nell rolled a "Captured" result on the post-battle table after the last game, and this seemed like the most natural way to proceed.  The game itself was a bloodbath, and the majority of the warbands were KO'd or coup d'graced at the end of the scenario.  It was terrific fun, but...

We played this as our second game on Saturday night, and it was getting late by the time we started.  With the night wearing on, we were forced to rush a little, and I found that the game suffered because of it.  Like most adventure games, Chaos in Carpathia is like a fine wine or an expensive cigar.  It must be carefully considered as it is ingested/smoked, or a lot of the "magic" tends to evaporate.  It was still a fun game, don't get me wrong, but we'll be sure the next time around that we plan our time more carefully.

As for the adjusted experience and advancement system, after three scenarios no models have advanced yet.  A number of characters from both warbands will likely gain a new skill or advance after the next scenario, and as forecast, the gradual elevation is satisfying and is doing a good job of keeping everyone on the same page. 

Anyway, from hereon in, Sir Thrustam and his companions have one course open to them. If Dick wants any of his questions answered, they must make their way to towards the central location of the campaign - Dertflinghan!

Thanks for reading,

Friday, May 7, 2010

Workbench Update: Going Underground

As soon as the Gothic Horror campaign started moving, I took stock of the models and terrain that I had prepared for our games.  I had more or less completed everything I had set out to do for phase one of the project, but this week past, I realized that I had almost completely forgotten about one important terrain element- crypts!

As the story progresses, Sir Thrustam and company will certainly find themselves exploring mausoleums, crypts, underground dungeons, castles, and so on.  I began pondering ways to represent such enclosed environments.  I didn't want to get into anything that was too expensive or involved, so I was leaning towards making something to represent the general floor plan without getting into making walls.  After a few failed experiments, here's my simple solution... vinyl floor tiles!  I bought these at the local hardware store for less than a buck a piece.  As you can probably tell, I chose a grey, stone-like pattern so that I wouldn't have to paint the pattern on.  These measure one foot square so I bought sixteen, enough to layout a 4x4 playing surface.

I've made two experimental pieces for now.  My method was ridiculously simple.  First, I marked out the pattern of the hallways/rooms with tape.  Then, I painted the "void" area with black paint.  That's pretty much it.

Here are two tiles laid together.  As you can see, I'll be making sure that the designs match up on the edges.  I'll also paint about half of the other sides completely black to use as "filler" tiles when the rooms and hallways aren't all encompassing.

This is the Heroquest furniture I wrote about some time ago.  I'm going to prime and paint the plastic components and then reassemble them.  They should stand in nicely as cover and as scenario objectives.  I can just see it now; Prof. Alcock and Ms. Poundwood searching for clues in an underground library.

Anyway, I'm sure it will look more impressive when spread out over the table with suitable amounts of rubble and furniture sprinkled to taste.

Thanks for reading,

Monday, May 3, 2010

The Curse of the Dertflinghans: Chapter Two


15 April. Old West Road - For the past two days my stalwart companions and I have continued our eastward journey into this mysterious land.  The countryside is quite beautiful and, though it pains me to admit it, supports a vibrant and lush natural canopy that easily completes with my native America.  Yesterday, as we trekked through a particularly hilly and forested stretch of road, we saw a lynx devouring a hare with seasoned efficiency.  Rutter began growling and prepared to challenge the wild cat, but Johann was most insistent that Sir Thrustam hold him back. It seems that the natural hunters of this country are respected by their human counterparts, and as an outsider, I have no wish to question the traditions of our most able

Presently, we are preparing our camp in a forest clearing near a small stream.  Across the road, through the trees, I can see crumbling walls of some medieval ruin.  Johann tells me that it was once a great cathedral, and some centuries ago, enraged townsfolk tore the mighty structure down after discovering that the local bishop had sacrificed a young girl to honour some devilish pact.  The men are pitching tents and organizing our gear, so perhaps a quick investigation is in order.  I'll surely be back before they notice my absence - Emma.

15 April. cont'd - So much has transpired since I left off last that I hardly know where to begin. In the words of my late uncle Amos Poundwood, "Nothing makes for a good start like a good beginning."

After making my way to the ruins, I perched on a piece of rubble and began some sketches.  There were many carvings on the collapsed columns, some period, and some strange rune-like characters, obviously added by a more recent and yet unbeknownst engraver.  I longed for access to my reference library at Oxford, but here in the field I must make due with knowledge and deduction.  As I pondered the nature of these markings, my reflection was interrupted as I became aware of someone approaching from behind.   I unsheathed my knife and turned to see the Professor advancing cautiously from the woods.  He gestured silence and then pointed across the ruin. 

There, in the gathering twilight, we saw the mighty wolf creature who had almost killed our leader a couple of nights earlier, accompanied by the gibbering lunatics who mysteriously follow these canine monsters.  Then, we heard a chorus of howls, and saw to our horror a pack of giant Carpathian wolves on the road speeding in the direction of our camp. These forest hunters seem drawn to the evil creatures.  I fear that the surrounding woods house an infinite untamed army of wolves who await the call of their masters.

The dark hunters advanced through the ruins and stopped to examine a stone sarcophagus that had apparently survived the collapse of the cathedral.  The carved vessel seemed of great importance to them, and they sniffed about it and marked it in canine fashion (even the lunatic did this, which I found most unsightly).  Then, both the creatures and Prof. Alcock and I were surprised by the arrival of Sir Thrustam's canine companion Rutter, as he charged through the ruins barking savagely at our supernatural enemies.  Not surprisingly, his valiant master followed behind and the brave Prof. Alcock dashed out from our hiding place to join him.

Continuing to prove their dedication and bravery, Johann, Hans, and Egon began shooting at the savage wolves and felled a couple of the brutes, but it seemed a futile exercise.  Before long, the Carpathian hunters were overwhelmed.

The Great Wolf himself bounded across the ruins with supernatural speed and engaged Hans most savagely.  Seeing the beast unleash his full ferocity on the poor man was a terrifying experience and I fear I almost succumbed to cowardliness myself.

My senses were again assaulted as a desperate cry added itself to the hellish cacophony.  I turned to see the same murderous mad woman from our first encounter charging towards Sir Thrustam and the professor.  The two men were most actively employed in defending themselves from one of the lesser wolfmen, so gathering my resolve, I ran towards the hideous woman with my knife and pistol drawn and ready.  She was a disturbing specimen to say the least with her vacant eyes and horrible stench, but I refused to dishearten my companions through cowardice, and pressed on in spite of her vile aspect.

The brute of a woman displayed superhuman strength and was a most tenacious opponent.  As we tussled I realized that, although she might best me in a contest of pure strength, she was certainly no match for my skill and speed.  In the heat of combat I had a sudden thought, and instead of applying lethal force against the madwoman, I waited for an opportunity, and then, when she had over-extended herself, I brought the butt of my pistol down hard on the back of her head.

The feral woman lay unconscious at my feet and Sir Thrustam had dealt a decisive blow against the canine beast which sent the creature leaping into the darkness. We had no time for recoup our energy, for as soon as our opponents were defeated two new ones  appeared before us.  Without dispensing further details of the melee, suffice it to say that these two were also sent fleeing from the field, and although I was far too captivated by my own labours to observe the outcome, our brave Carpathian companions had dispatched the wolves and saw the Great Wolf follow his wounded brethren into the dark forest.  With the threat driven off once again, we found our way back to camp with my bizarre prisoner in tow.

Sir Thrustam suffered wounds on top of wounds, and I sometimes wonder if the man is not an immortal himself. Thankfully, the Professor's medical knowledge combined with Johann's mastery of folk medicine has seen our fearless leader through his plight yet again.  Egon Fishing was also treated after suffering many claw and bite wounds from the wolf pack.  Prof. Alcock says the man will recover in time, but ordered a rough stretcher made so that we may drag the poor man until he recovers.

It seems most improbable that our supernatural enemies should make any further appearances this night.  We sleep peacefully - Emma.

16 April. Cathedral Ruins - This morning the professor, Sir Thrustam, and I returned to the ruins while the hunters tore down the tents and prepared to continue our travel east.  The professor and I were most curious to examine the sarcophagus more closely in daylight (and without the threat of hell-spawned killers at our heels).  At present, the runes remain a mystery, but I have made some rubbings in my sketchbook to be referred to at a later date if and when further knowledge is gained.

As to our prisoner, she seems flighty and ready to bolt at any moment.  We have bound her arms and shackled her ankle so that possible escape will be unlikely.  I had hoped to question the woman and learn something of these beasts, as well as her affinity for them.  She is less than communicative at present, but we have learned from Johann that we are headed towards an isolated lunatic asylum that is only two days march from our present location.  We shall seek assistance when we reach the hospital, and perhaps some of the mysteries shall be solved - Emma.

Game Talk:

And so ends Chapter Two of our Gothic Horror saga.  I quite enjoyed writing the first chapter (as well as this one), but I thought that some discussion of the game itself might come in handy for some readers, especially those who play (or who are planning to play) Chaos In Carpathia.

Using Tom Weiss's warband and scenario add-on, we played The Ritual scenario with the special event Grudge Match.  The sarcophagus was a special marker in the game that generated supernatural energy.  By moving into base contact and using a special action (actually, a Mind+Scholar check or a Resolve+Iron Will check), a character could gain extra Fate points to use during the scenario.  More importantly, we decided that the warband who succeeded in tapping the most energy would gain earn experience points to be distributed among his characters in anyway he saw fit.  Prof. Alcock was the only character to succeed in doing this during the game, so Chris won the experience (and drove most of the werewolves from the table), so it was definitely a human victory.

As per my previous post, we made some more alterations to the post-battle sequence and put them to use.  The experience is gaining nice and slowly (which we like), so there won't be any great gaps between the warband's ability levels.  We decided to go back to the standard earning system in the book rather than just focusing on the Mind attribute.  With upkeep costs (as well as the option of trading in earnings for Destiny Points), we found that the warbands were earning a humble amount so it was best not to lessen it.

Everyone survived the post-battle rolls on the injury tables, which was quite lucky for me considering two of my models were coup-de-graced.   Crazy Nell rolled "Captured" (hence her being captured and all) and Egon Fishing rolled "Miss Next Game."  As you probably noticed from the ending, the next scenario will likely take place on the asylum grounds.  I can hardly wait.

Thanks for reading,