Returning home to Caer Dyff, Austin is horrified to find his people in the thrall of the villainous Ernst Coalfinger, the Orc with the miner's touch...
Austin Powys - International Hobgoblin of Mystery in
CJ 'Bury my heart in Tarrwen Harbour' Hooper
With thanks to Ayesha Khan for the title.
“Coalfinger; he’s the orc, the orc with the Miner’s touch...”
It was a mission like any other for the most part, I was, as per usual, up to my neck in female attention, male envy and more danger than is considered acceptable for any normal Hobgoblin.
However this time I had been on shore leave in my home town of Caer Dyff. Home for Christmas and expecting a warm welcome. The greetings received however were cold and decidedly un-nice.
The whole town was frozen and my people were shivering, no fires burned, no lights were lit. A few candles burned but that was it.
I made my way to the home of old Sergeant Major Tudor-Jones. Even if he couldn’t tell me what was going on he could at least provide me with a stiff drink.
Tudor-Jones swung open his door and presented me with the business end of a shotgun... Before realising who stood there. He explained everything…
“Oh Luffley boy, it has been a dark Yuletide this year. We have a new mayor look you, Ernst Coalfinger. A rich man, one of the Mining magnates from that there Albion. He’s a bad sort mind as rich as cheeses, and twice as strong. His company have bought up all the mines in South Taffsea and they have been stock piling the coal, oh he loves coal. But he has not been selling the coal on, he is choking the Hobs of Taffsea with his control of it.
"If anyone so wishes to have any light or heat from their hearths then they must swear loyalty to him and pay tribute. Some pay with money, but only the rich few can do that, some pay with service and have joined his private army. Some pay by sending their delightful Taffsea women to attend to him...”
At last I became angry...
Tudor-Jones told me where the coal was being stock piled (warehouses on the seafront... Hmmm unusual) and took his musket from its display over the cold mantelpiece.
“I’m coming with you Austyn, one last mission, see.”
He had never called me by my first name before…. I knew this was serious.
But what was occurin' ?
Austyn Powys and Tudor-Jones are investigating the warehouses at the seafront. Just the two of them, though more help may arrive.
The set-up is three large coal sheds a harbour and a mysterious large ship...
This game may also be played as a solo game or as two players.
Austin is an Experienced Elite Light Troop Hobgoblin, choose skills as per the standard rules for his experience level. Austin can 'charm' any female on the board. It works just as the Mesmerism Vampyre magicke but no wound is required to activate it.
Sergeant Major Tudor-Jones
Tudor-Jones is a Vetran Hobgoblin Regular with the skill Valley Voice and the Slate Skin trait.
4 Salty Seamen
The salty seamen are Average Hobgoblin Marines all with the Death of a Boyo flaw.
Both are experienced (don't ask at what) Hobgoblin Civilians.
Ernst Coalfinger, a Bog Orc Made Good / Evil
Coalfinger is Veteran Bog Orc Irregular. The wrong 'un of this tale. As with most master villains he can change the very fate of our hero and has the Reverse Jamminess trait.
Paws, an oversized Krautian with Knuckledusters
Paws is very big for his size. He is statted as an Experienced Orc Irregular despite being a Dwarf. He has massive knuckledusters and gets +2 in melee.
These can be whatever miniatures you have in your collection. Villainous masterminds are not fussy about the help they hire. Use the normal squad creation rules for experience and arm as per figure.
Our Two heroes start at the rear of one of the warehouses (Players choice as they will be able to sneak up to each from the town). Each of the warehouses may be entered freely from the sea facing side or by breaking in though a small door at the back (Strength based tests against strong doors).
There are henchmen patrolling the area and these may be alerted by the sounds of doors breaking open. Opposed initiative rolls for any Henchmen with 24 cm will be required. Best try and be discreet Austyn!
Whether sighted or heard by henchmen Austyn and the Sergeant-major may break in to each of the warehouses. Upon entering roll a D6 to see what they find:
1-2 - 6 Shackled Salty Seamen
3-4 - 2 Damsels in Distress
5-6 - Nothing
Each warehouse contains one of the above, ergo - one has damsels, one has seamen and one has nothing.
Freeing the Seamen:
These six taffsea Hobgoblins will immediately leap to the aid of our heroes and provide support using what weapons they can find – boathooks, sturdy clubs, fish – all improvised weapons.
De-stressing the Damsels:
The two damsels when freed will cling to Austyn like it is going out of fashion (plus ca change?). they will also scream in a high pitched way when rescued, thus immediately alerting the guards. However before Austin canfree them there is one snag. And not a small one at that. They are being Guarded by Nessa…
Nessa - Drinking Man’s Crumpet:
Nessa is a Veteran Hobgoblin Civilian 'lady' in the employ of Coalfinger and boyo is she tough (gaining the Iron Hard trait). However, like any female, she is not immune to the allure of our hero... She may be defeated through strength of arms or through charms. Combat may be messy, noisy and will possibly alert the guards…
If Nessa is defeated in combat then the damsels with cling to Austyn reducing his movement by one left shift. Cynical players may not kill the damsels to prevent this... You are bad people for even thinking it.
The Empty Warehouse:
Nothing, nothing here...
When all three warehouses have been searched our heroes must realise one thing... the coal must be on the ship...
Coalfinger and Paws start on this ship. Should any fighting breakout at the dock then they may leave to join the fight. They may also stay on the ship and fire the three preloaded cannon at each of the warehouses main doors... (yes, you’ve guessed it kids, they are the bad guys...)
As there are only two on board ship to start with the cannon may be re-aimed before firing but this takes a turn. The cannon may be reloaded if two henchmen assist the villains in doing so, though none of them are gunners per se (cheap staff).
As the cannon fire the final showdown begins...
The ship is set to leave with all the remaining coal in Taffsea heading for some undisclosed location... Our heroes and whatever help they have found have just D10 turns to stop it.
Arrest / Kill Coalfinger and defeat the bad guys. This will stop the ship from leaving with none left to operate it.
If by the end of the D10 turns the heroes are on the ship, then it leaves with them on it and the battle continues... Austyn will find a way to pilot it back to port... if he lives.
or the bad guys… get the ship away with all the coal and no good guys on board...
An Orcs in the Webbe Original! "Coalfinger" was written exclusively for Orcs in the Webbe's 2012 Advent Calendar and was first published on Christmas Day 2012.
CJ's previous Austin Powys' previous adventures can be found on Orcs in the Webbe:
"Thunder Balls Up" (Coming Back to OITW Soon)
"Dai Another Day" - Austin must prevent Wheeling-Turn's secrets from falling into Ferach hands and save the life of a rival Albion Spy, Dai the Bread.