'Over the Hills and Far Away'
A Flintloque Scenario by Steve Blease.
Goblin Caçadores must get to the safety of the allied Orc lines harried by Dark Elf Inquisition forces seeking to reclaim a stolen religious treasure. Both parties aware that Mordred's elite Elven Voltiguers are also seeking to claim the icon in their Emperor's name...
"Colonel d'Algrave shivered as the flurries of snow flustered and swirled about him like demonic sprites. He drew his coarse homespun cloak tighter around him and wished again that it was summer. Pausing his march, he turned his back into the wind and glanced to the rear. Nothing. The snow obliterated his view, but he knew that it also wiped out any sign of the passing of his Goblin Caçadores and thus as much as he wished for the sun, common-sense told him that this unusually harsh winter was as much an ally as it was an enemy to his strength.
As his unit trudged past heads bowed into the wind, d'Algrave reflected on the situation that had led to him and his troops making this desperate march through the bleak Rigamellina highlands in deep winter. Only one month before, he had received orders from the Junta of the Regency of Al-Garvey ordering him to make haste to the Cataucian town of Badjobz . The invasion of Mordred's Elves had thrown the Dark Elf Kingdom into turmoil as the Armorican Elves smashed the once vaunted Dark Elf armies and occupied the ancient Kingdom. From this turmoil came evidence that an ancient Goblin religious icon, lost for centuries had in fact been in the possession of the Dark Elf Catatonic Inquisition...
The icon - the Zepecmoir - is a large precious stone brought to the Kingdom of Al-Garvey centuries before from distant conquered lands and venerated as a symbol of the Goblin deity Moiritatra. A pulsing red jewel, its colour gained from a millennium of sacrifices held over it, the Zepecmoir possesses arcane powers and deep cultural significance to the Goblins.
D'Algrave and his troops had been fortunate to recover the stone, ambushing an Inquisition convoy attempting to smuggle religous material out of Badjobz, before Mordred's troops descended on the city. However since then, matters had deterioated. The Dark Elves themselves held great store in the stone and at the behest of the Inquisition, Dark Elf Regulars have been chasing the Goblins for over a week now, once nearly catching them in an ambush south of Sallymanky, the Caçadore unit leaving six dead behind them. If that was not enough, d'Algrave pondered, he now had Mordred's forces to consider, for the last three days his flight to Al-Garvey had been driven by High Elf Voltigeurs also apparently intent on capturing the hard won icon.
Yet now the flight was nearing its end. D'Algrave turned back into the driving snow and squinted at the final rise of hills, beyond which laid the lines of the Goblin's Orc allies. Gringoes with strange beliefs they maybe, mused d'Algrave, but they spelt safety.
Suddenly his thoughts were shattered. A smattered crack of musket fire sounded above the wind and a Goblin beside d'Algrave dropped to the ground, his face blown away by a musket ball.
D'Algrave dropped to the ground with his troops. Another blast of musket fire sounded and d'Algrave winced as his hat was plucked off his head. He glanced down at his shako and the hole which, if a couple of inches lower, would have spelt his doom. To his left two of the Caçadores returned fire at the ambushers, and d'Algrave was gratified to see the marksmanship of his troops, as a splendidly uniformed Dark Elf fell out of a crop of rocks, blood soaking his white tunic.
Pulling his pistol from under his cloak, d'Algrave thanked Moiritatra that he was not facing the Voltigeurs that had been chasing him of late, but his original enemy the Dark Elves.
The Flight from Badjobz
Since the capture (theft or liberation, dependent on your racial persuasion) of the Zepecmoir, the Goblins have been hounded. First by Dark Elf forces and more recently Imperial Elves. However, having almost reached the safety of the allied Orc lines in the Rigamellina highlands of northern Al-Garvey, the Caçadores have been caught by Dark Elf regulars under Inquisition command.
With High Elf Voltigeurs in the immediate vicinity as well, the position for the Goblins is grim, although not hopeless. What follows is a three player scenario for Flintloque gamers and should only be read by the GM.
The players should only be given their own appropriate briefings.
The uniform details at the end can be read by anyone.
You are Colonel d'Algrave of the 1st Battalion Goblin Caçadores. Sent on a secret mission to recover an important religious icon from the Dark Elf city of Badjobz, you have almost reached the safety of allied Orc lines. Over the last week or so you have in turn been chased by Dark Elf Regulars and High Elf Voltigeurs. Now within sight of safety the Dark Elves have caught you again.
A concerted effort on your part should see you able to smash through them and reach the Orc lines.
Your command is a section of Elite Caçadore Light Infantry all armed with the much vaunted Bakur rifle (except yourself who carries a sword and pistol as befits an Officer). Of the sixteen Caçadores that accompanied you to Badjobz only nine have survived the flight. Under your command you have one Experienced Corporal, three Experienced Atriadors (Privates), four Average Atriadors and one Raw Atirador. Roll for any magical abilities as outlined in Flintloque. You personally are Experienced and have no magical ability. The Zepecmoir is being carried in your pouch. Should you fall before reaching safety the unit is under strict instructions to recover the stone and get it to safety. It will take them half a move to recover it from your body.
You can also use the skills, traits and flaws rules from Flintloque 3rd Edition to further personalise your troops.
The Dark Elves
You are the Marquis de Badjobz el Grande y Mellina i Tarrenvera. A pious and important Dark Elf, you have been instructed by the God Shivilia (through his servants on Valon the noble Inquisition) to recover an important religious icon stolen from the Temple at Badjobz by heretic Goblin soldiers.
With a section of infantry from the Regular Guard Infantry Regiment; Regimenta de Rosimonta y Inquisitato you nearly succeeded when the Goblins stumbled into a carefully devised ambush south of the city of Sallymanky. Six of the heretics died that day but under the cover of darkness the rest escaped. Since then, due to the incompetence of your senior Sergeant, you have been unable to catch the Goblins as they fled through the desolate Rigamellina highlands.
The situation has now been further exacerbated as reports have reached you that the Armorican Emperor Mordred has dispatched troops to recover the icon for his own foul needs and a unit of High Elf Voltigeurs are in your immediate vicinity.
However the righteousness of the God Shivilia has smiled benevolent fortune on your cause and your unit has managed to intercept the Goblin heretics before they reached the lines of their worthless Orc allies and you through considerable military skill and planning have interjected your force between them and safety. Recovery of the icon by one so skilled as yourself has never really been in doubt and it is now just a matter of time.
Your unit comprises of fifteen Dark Elf Regular Infantry including yourself. You are Average and armed solely with a sword (however you are well schooled in swordsplay so receive an additional +1 modifier in Hand to Hand Combat).
Your troops are all armed with muskets and include an Experienced Sergeant, an Average Corporal, two Experienced Privates, four Average Privates and seven Raw Privates. Magical abilities to be diced for as normal for the troops. You have magical abilities.
As with the Goblins when using Flintloque 3rd Edition you can add skills, traits and flaws to your unit. If you have access to Grapeshotte you could also add a Dark Elf with the power of Faifth (Grapeshotte, p.90) to the unit. Also, as Steve mentions below, this Dark Elf unit is Militia not Regular so be sure to apply the effects to your section roster.
To win the scenario you must take possession of the icon (it takes one character one move to search a body for the icon - one special action in Flintloque 3rd Edition) and flee the board on any side except the east.
(NB. Remember Dark Elf Regulars count as Militia NOT Regular from a Unit Status point of view).
The Ferach Elves
You are Lieutenant Athien Constantine of His Imperial Majesty's 64e de Ligne, a Regular Foot Regiment. Your commission in the Regiment places you in command of a platoon of Voltigeurs and your current orders are to take a Section of your Platoon into the Rigamellina Highlands and intercept a Goblin Caçadore unit fleeing to the nearby Orc lines with a treasure of cultural and religious importance to both Goblins and Dark Elves.
Your Colonel has explained that capture of the treasure by the Emperor's forces will allow Mordred to play off the Goblins and Dark Elves against each other and thus shatter the fragile alliance carefully built up by the Orcs of Albion. Should you succeed then promotion to Captain and the Emperor's thanks will be yours.
Three days ago you intercepted the Goblins and in a brief skirmish killed three and possibly wounded others. Unfortunately a snowstorm swept the area and allowed the Goblins to escape. However you have continued to track them and believe yourself to be less than an hour behind.
You have been advised that the Dark Elves are also hunting the Goblins and they also, if encountered, must be prevented from capturing the treasure (it takes one character one move to search a body for the treasure- one special action in Flintloque 3rd Edition).
Including yourself, your command comprises of ten Elf Voltigeurs from a Regular Unit, all armed with muskets, including yourself who also carries a sword. You have no magical ability but members of your Section may have and should be diced for as normal.
Once again the skills, traits and flaws rules can be used. You can also use the pre-generated section of Ferach Elves (Flintloque: WIC, p.55) to represent Constantine's Elves.
Hearing firing nearby, you march to the sound of the fight. Your force arrives on the table D3 + 3 turns after the first move.
Terrain & Conditions
In Flintloque 3rd Edition both the scrub and the ford count as difficult terrain, the rest of the river counts as bogging terrain (Flintloque: WIC, p.74). The scrub also counts as light cover (Flintloque: WIC, p.75).
Despite the snowstorms, only a light covering is present over most of the highlands and it does not restrict movement in any way. It is however snowing for the first D6 turns of the game and this effects firing as per normal. Full rules for foul weather can be found in Grapeshotte, p.21.
Painting and Uniform Guide
These guidelines are purely optional and should you wish to do something different feel free, after all Flintloque is a fantasy game:
i) Caçadores (1st Battalion):
Like the elite Orc Rifles, the Goblin Caçadores wear a totally different uniform to their Line Infantry cousins. The jacket is brown (burnt sienna) and the trousers either white or brown (often a mix was seen and occasionally any colour as supplies got mixed up). 1st Battalion Collars and turnbacks are also brown but are piped with green with sky blue cuffs. The shako is black with a green tuft. Leather accoutrements are all black.
ii) Regimenta de Rosimonta y Inquisitato:
Dark Elf Regular Infantry wear a largely white uniform with a white jacket, white trousers, white epaulettes and white leather accoutrements (except the cartridge pouch which is black). The cuffs, breast and tailcoat turnbacks differ from Regiment to Regiment and those of the Regimenta de Rosimonta y Inquisitato are Mid Green. Gaiters (if worn) and bicorne hat are black, the hat having a red plume.
iii) Voltigeurs (64e de Ligne)
Imperial Elf Line infantry wear blue coats with white breasts (trimmed red) and tailcoat turnbacks. Trousers are either white or (often on campaign) beige. Leather accoutrements are white except the cartridge pouch and sword scabbards which are black. Epaulets are red for Grenadiers, blue trimmed red for Fusiliers and green trimmed yellow for Voltigeurs. Cuffs are red trimmed white for all. Shakos are black (trimmed red for Grenadiers). Only Grenadiers and Voltigeurs have plumes, red for Grenadiers and yellow topped green for Voltigeurs. Fusiliers only have the bottom pom pom coloured variously to indicate their company. All shakos sport a cockade beneath the plume/pom pom being blue on red on white.
What's in a Name?
Since Mordred's seizure of the power-ring from his mother the Empress Morgana and his proclamation declaring himself Emperor, Mordred and the Ferach have taken to calling themselves Imperial Elves. After all Mordred is now Emperor and the Ferach the ones that are re-establishing the Greater Elven Empire. To reinforce this Mordred insists on being addressed as 'His Imperial Majesty' and has renamed the Guard, the Imperial Army, elite units forming the Imperial Guard.
However the deposed Morgana and her followers in exile still believe the title "Imperial' belongs to them and the few remaining exiled Empress units also carry the prefix Imperial in their titles...
This adventure was originally published in the second Flintloque Digest way back in August 1996 and then reprinted in the first issue of Orcs in the Hills magazine along with the map shown above in the Winter of 1996.
I made minor edits to the text; some small grammatical changes along with some name changes to bring things in line with the Flintloque 3rd Edition background. I have also annotated it in red italicised text to aid players using the current 3rd Edition ruleset. The updated and annotated version above was first published on Orcs in the Webbe on the 5th March 2013.
It was absent for a year or so due to a prior regeneration of the website not transferring everything over correctly, the wrong has now been righted and it returned on the 9th November 2014 as part of Orcs in the Webbe's ongoing Flintloque Archive Project.