A Flintloque Adventure by Craig Andrews
Two brothers on different sides of the civil war in Diberia race against time and each other to rescue their childhood sweetheart from one of Mordred's internement camps...
The following excerpts are taken from “The True and Accurate History of Valon” by Professor Orcus Broady of the University of Londinium.
As in many civil wars the people of Diberia found themselves fighting those they had once called friend and in some cases those they had once called brother. One such family was that of Tomas and Elliote (pronounced toe-mass and elly-ot). Hailing from a small village in the eastern Tundra both brothers had signed on young and served the Duchy loyally for years. They had both been soldiers in one of Coltz’ Regiments Du Were. Tomas however was much more hardworking than his brother and soon found himself promoted to the position of Sergeant within the Elite Duchy Garde, a posting that irked Elliote more than he cared to admit. When agents of the Kommisariat Graviski Bureov started sowing seeds of dissention within the populace of Coltz, Elliote’s jealousy of his brother fuelled the fire of self doubt that had burned in him since Tomas’ promotion and he soon found himself fighting against the established government in favor of the promises of wealth and power that serving the Dark Czar would bring.
After a series of short but bloody battles the rebellion was driven from the walled city of Coltz but, no longer contained by the the city's ancient walls, the surreptitious whispers of the K.G.B. spread dissent further and faster than even the dark denizens of Vilnau expected. Hundreds, if not thousands, of Diberian Werwolves allied themselves with the Dark Czar. Throughout the Diberian countryside harmless familial feuds became embittered battles as, one by one, every village throughout the land was torn asunder. It is often said that no one wins a war, one side merely loses less and that is no more true of the Diberian internecine conflict than anywhere else on Valon. More werewolf blood was spilled in the first few months of the conflict than during the entire time of the Annul.
As Mordred’s Grand Armee marched North on its quest for the fabled Sword of Shivalia an alliance was formed with the Centaurs of the Duchy of Coltz. Diberia was still in the grip of the deadly civil war between the Werewolves loyal to the Duchy and the ones allied to the mysterious Dark Czar of the Witchlands. As part of the agreement drawn up by the Tyrant Mordred and Marshal Ponyatowski, experienced Ferach personnel were assigned to Ponyatowski’s command to help with the internecine conflict in exchange for more than a hundred thousand Centaurs and Werewolves to join the Armee as it continued North. One such Ferach officer was Commandant Emile Bâtard.
Remnants from A Different War
Bâtard had been instrumental in setting up camps to keep subjugated members of the Aegyptian races in line as Mordred attempted to bring order to the lawless deserts of the Otharmann Empyre. Bâtard suggested to Ponyatowski that similar camps set up to contain rebellious elements within the Werewolf population would be looked upon favorably by the creatures still loyal to the Duchy as the prior practice of mass slaughter, whilst effective, had led to more Werewolves allying with the Dark Czar in response to the vicious cull. These Ferach Elf run camps, often little more than prisons, soon spread throughout Diberia, and many Werewolves from both sides of the conflict, as well as so-called dissenters of other races found themselves imprisoned and subject to Bâtard’s iron fisted rule.
For more on the civil war in Diberia see Death in the Snow, pages 9, 10, 30 and 31.
Like so many places Tomas and Elliote’s village in the Diberian Tundra fell foul of the civil war after fighting broke out. As with many of the smaller battles Bâtard’s Ferach Elves simply swept in, killed anyone they thought was a threat and arrested everyone else. In such a small village that meant practically every one ended up in one of the camps. Tomas’ and Elliote’s rivalry referred to by Broady in “The True and Accurate History of Valon” actually stems from their childhood when they both tried to woo the same Werewolf, a girl by the name of Etta. Despite not having seen her for years due to their military service, upon hearing of their village’s internment by Bâtard’s Elves both Werewolves disobey orders and head to the camp with the intention of rescuing Etta.
Tomas’ Duchy Guard - Generate a unit of Werewolves as per the guidelines in Grapeshotte following the normal unit creation rules (using the rules for Big Werewolves of the Duchy Guard in Grapeshotte if you have it.)
Elliote’s section is an unusual rarity in the Witchlands and Mordredian Wars but one often found in the Diberian conflict. Given the guerilla and widespread nature of many of the battles it is not formed of one type of supernatural creature as with the Dark Czar’s organized regiments. The Kommisariat Graviski Bureov has assigned other creatures to fight alongside the Werewolves. His deep bitterness of his brothers success and viciousness in training has led to Elliote leading a mixed band of Werewolves, Golems, Ghouls and Wraiths. You should use the points total generated by the creation of Tomas’ section as a base and create a mixed unit using whichever Flintloque/Fantasy miniatures you have.
Bâtard’s Ferach Elves - Generate a section of Elves as per the normal Flintloque rules or use the pre-generated section in Death in the Snow on p.53. The guards of the internment camp can be played as a third player faction in this game but if you only have two players then you can use the solo rules (Death in the Snow, p.90) assigning them the Defensive behaviour.
Map and Set Up
Diberia is a part of Valon with a very rich history. Outside of the ancient walled city of Coltz there are many structures from ages past now seemingly abandoned; ancient halls, forgotten underground complexes, stone walled forts, etc. This scenario focuses on one of the smaller internment camps and should be played on a 3’ by 3’ skirmish table (although you can easily scale it up to include more, if not all, of the camp, if you choose). As with any scenario you should use whatever scenery you have at hand to create the playing area. The map below is actually from a Pathfinder campaign but could be used as an example of one possible building brought into service by Bâtard. I found the map using a simple image search using the keywords ‘harrowstone prison map’, if virtual tabletop gaming is your thing there are thousands of free downloadable maps you can use. It's not my map and no copyright infrigement is intended, it's freely available on the web.
Bâtard’s Elves should be setup in defensive positions throughout your camp. Tomas and Elliote’s section enter from different sides of the table. One structure within the camp should be labelled as the location where Etta is being held. If you are playing with an Umpire/Gamesmaster/Keeper then the location could be kept secret leading to a desperate search.
Scenario Objectives and Game Length
Both brothers must get to where Etta is being held and free her! The Elves must repel the invaders and keep those in their charge ‘safe’.
The nature of Elliote’s mixed race section give plenty of options for special rules as does the very nature of adventures set in the Witchlands. As such there are none written but you are encouraged to put anything that fits into the scenario to make it better for the the players (even if you are one of them).
Etta - There is one very special rule that if you’re playing this you should not read and if you’re running it for someone else do your best to keep it secret until they find the place where Etta is located. To find out what it is hold your mouse over the text below.
Hold Mouse Over to Reveal Spoiler
Miniatures for this adventure can be found throughout Alternative Armies catalog, both Flintloque and High Fanatsy.
Expanding this Scenario
As suggested above you could make this part of a larger attack against the camp or as a springboard to a series of running battles in Diberia using Bâtard’s internment camps as a focus. The civil war in Diberia, much like the more well known events in Kartoffelburg, is a great opportunity to see battles very different to those elsewhere on Valon. The very nature of the Dark Czar’s troops means there are many different themes you can follow.
I like writing about my writing and in this, the tenth anniversary year of Orcs in the Webbe, what better time to start including larger ‘Director’s Commentary’ style pieces on how things came about (be warned part of this commentary talks about the twist/plot reveal that is hidden above) - so then, without further ado…
How did this scenario come about?
I’d wanted to write something a bit more ‘traditional’ for Flintloque for a while as my scenarios usually borrow heavily from the pulps and don’t normally fit that well into any of the four official theatres of the Mordredian Wars (Catalucia, Aegypt, Kartoffelburg and the Witchlands). With this scenario, the initial germ of an idea came from a very unusual source.
The first paragraph of the dust jacket blurb to the doubtless gripping ‘shifter romance’ novel, Bondmate, is presented below for your reading pleasure. It’s not something I ever intend to read but it popped up on my Goodreads feed as someone I know had read it. The blurb immediately conjured up images of two Diberian werewolves on a mission to rescue the female they both desired, and so the above Flintloque adventure was born.
“Decorated Alphan warriors Mateen and Bynton are on a clandestine mission to one of Earth’s refugee camps, in search of the one woman who might complete their bond. Tempering their instincts to capture and hold, both men realize they must court their chosen woman to win her trust.”
Now the initial framework was down (albeit in a borrowed form) I started writing the introduction, something I usually finds writes itself as neurons fire and plot goes in different directions in my brain. Just after I started writing I received an email from John Fourr. It’s a regular roleplaying tips email I get. He suggested people enter a competition for writing a 100 word campaign brief. I thought the questions were great so I used them to flesh out my story- the answers below were written before the scenario above.
1. Rat Bastard Villain with a goal.
Ferach Camp Commandant Bâtard (subtle word play is not my thing).
2. Interesting milieu with cool name, a great setting concept for adventure, and 2-3 notable NPCs who will stir the plot.
Hmm, Not really sure a wargame needs this element.
3. Stakes: what are the PCs supposed to do and what happens if they fail? Make it personal.
The two Werewolves (and their respective squads) are on the same side but are intent on getting to the prisoner first as if they will surely be the one that wins her heart. As I was writing the introduction (and researching the source material i.e. Death in the Snow not Bondmate) I realised they could be two brothers from different sides of the Diberian civil war.
4. Left Hook. Knock'em off their chairs.
The captive Werewolf is nothing of the sort. She is the mistress of the Camp Commandant and upon being discovered she will unload her pistol into the chest of her rescuer. (Never said it was going to be original.)
Another thing which happened as I was writing the introduction was it’s evolution into a pseudo-historical document. This was at first completely unintentional it just read that way. I kind of liked it and played up to it then, even going as far as to ascribe the paragraphs to a larger document by none other than Orcus Broady, a character from an old fan written scenario which I’d been expanding upon recently. Both the new adventure featuring Broady and the original scenario will be appearing on Orcs in the Webbe at some point during 2014.
Ooo, and if you’re still reading I did intentionally try to get the picture for this scenario to look like a really bad romance novel :)
Craig Andrews, May 2014
This scenario was written exclusively for Orcs in the Webbe and was first published on the 16th May 2014.