A Flintloque Scenario by Bob Minadeo
With apologies to J. R. R. Tolkien, Bernard Cornwell, Joseph Conrad, John Milius, and Percy Bysshe Shelley…
Deep under the mountains Giglamps and Sharke stumble upon the ancient remains of a fallen Dwarf, read on to discover how Sharke came to be in Injii, why he found himself with the highly decorated Giglamps and what they did when they got there.
The chamber was lit by a single shaft of light, cut through the mountain side, or so the dwarf said. On the whole it gave the room a surreal feeling; damp, cobwebbed, with the scattered detritus of long ago battle. The light shone directly on a sarcophagus carved out of the living rock. Inscribed on the lid of the sarcophagus, in an ancient Dwarven script, so it was said, were the following words:
HEAR LIES BALIN
SON OF FUNDIN
LORD OF MORIA
LOOK ON MY WORKS YE MIGHTY
The tall half-Orc/half-Elf Captain of Rifleorcs stood by the main entrance to the chamber. Standing with him was his Sergeant, a giant of a bog Orc; and so far as the difference in their ranks would allow, his friend.
Riekard Sharke once again checked the fit of the flint in the mechanism of his Bakur Rifle. Something told him that trouble was brewing. More trouble than even his long trek across the frontier between Inji and Otteristan, burdened with the four Halflings had already wrought.
In the centre of the room by the sarcophagus Major Giglamps of the Halflingland Rifles was pouring over the remains of a journal found in the room. With the help of the Krautian explorer, Himli, the two would recite passages as they were deciphered from the arcane Dwarven script.
The tale was one of conflict and loss as the dwarves were beset on all sides by the savage goblins said to roam these mountains. To many it would have been a stirring tale but to Sharke, the evidence of its outcome was all around. The dwarves had died here and so would his charges if they did not move on soon.
Still, moving one was not a decision he was authorized to make, and to even suggest it now would seem indiscrete at best. No, let the dwarf have his moment, thought Sharke, this was as good a time as any to take stock of his and Harpie’s situation.
Sharke and been sent to Inji by Lord Wheeling-Turn, at, it would appear, the request of the Peer’s brother, Viceroy of Albion’s holdings in the region. The matter needed discretion he was told, as well as the skills that had brought Shake up through the ranks from lowly private soldier to the undreamt of heights of Captain.
The Viceroy looked remarkably like his younger brother, the Peer, although of a singularly more jolly appearance. Hard to imagine old Wheeling-Turn smiling let alone with a twinkle in his hawk like gaze.
“You see”, the Viceroy had explained, “that even as the Usurper Mordred wages war against all of Urop in a game of conquest, there is another game, a Great Game, being played out here. At stake is the very future of Inji itself”.
Sharke, used to dealing with those of higher authority, simply nodded, knowing the Viceroy would eventually get to the point of this meeting.
“We have managed to wrest most of Inji from the Elves and Burrovians. The HEVC now holds a monopoly on Uropean involvement in the affairs of the sub continent. So much so that The Company now needs Crown oversight and troops. “
“To be sure there are independent native Princes, Rajahs, Viziers, and Nabobs aplenty still scattered about the region and we have thus far been very successful in dealing with them. Only…only…well we thought it mere rumor a first, but, there have been…’incursions’ from the north. Envoys of the Dark Tzar of the Witchlands have been seen south of the Gobla Kush. No sane ruler would deal with the forces of Undeath tis true, and yet, that is precisely what has happened in a number of Princely States.”
“We couldn’t make heads nor tails of the situation until word reached me of a singular find made by Sergeants of the Halflingland Rifles. It would seem that one of these chaps, Qatar is his name, had come into possession of a treasure map. Can you believe it! A treasure map! And he thought it was genuine. As any Inji hand is aware treasure maps are as common as curry out here. Go to any native bazaar and you’ll be offered maps to all the riches of Valon. Well as I say this Qatar got hold of one and thought it genuine. So off he set. An ‘expedition’ he called it. Just he and his elephant… and his Regimental Bestie trailed behind. Do ya know of Regimental Besties? ‘Course ya do, Started your Army career out here so my dear Brother says. Halflings won’t fight without candy floss so every unit has its own Besties spinning and carrying it wherever they go.”
“So this Qatar finds a lost temple filled with as dastardly a bunch of villains as you are like to meet. Thugs. Ritual murderers. Beastly. He also found a Thing! Brought it back to his Major, Giglamps. Perhaps you’ve heard of him? No? Very well”
“Turns out this Thing is brimming, simply brimming, with magickal energies, the Dark Tzar’s magick! It’s used to control the minds of others who have been so gifted. Princes, Nabobs. Viziers. Maharajahs. Needs to be destroyed the boffins tell me, so I order it done. No. Not good enough. Can’t just take a hammer to it or tie it in front of a cannon barrel. Won’t do, don’t you see? Won’t do at all.”
“It can only be destroyed in the fires that forged it. Dreadful place north of the Gobla Kush. North of Otteristan. Arse end of nowhere. That’s where it needs to go. Major Giglamps and four of his Halflings have undertaken the mission. They needed local guides. Well as ‘local’ to nowhere as one can get. Two fellas. One Louie Gallas is a demmed displaced Ferach Noble. Settled at the Last Émigré House East of the Sea. T’Other’s some Krautian crackpot, Heinrich Himli. Demmed fool believes that the entire Dwarven Race comes from some ancestral home in the Gobla Kush. Says they invaded Urop from there in the First Age. Says he plans to find them and with their help allow the Dwarves to achieve their Destiny. Sounds like a load of rubbish to me, but he knows the ground and has a good reputation as fighter.”
“This is where you come in Sharke! This Thing, word is that the Dark Tzar will do anything to get it back, that he has sent some of his best agents, wraiths, to retrieve it. The chaps we have carrying it are all first rate but we need insurance.”
“Insurance, Sir?” asked Sharke, not liking where this conversation was leading.
“Insurance. You see this Thing CANNOT be allowed to fall into the Enemy’s hands. CANNOT. Nor, and it pains me to say this, can any of the Halflings that have seen it be allowed. I am told that the Dark Tzar can use their knowledge of the Thing to craft a new one. Can’t allow that. You understand?”
“Sir, I am to accompany Major Giglamp’s expedition and prevent the Thing or any of the Halflings from falling into enemy hands” said Sharke.
“By any means necessary” added the Viceroy.
“By any means necessary” repeated Sharke.
So that was it. Bloody marvelous, thought Sharke. The Rifleorc had killed most things that walk, fly, swim, or crawl, since his childhood in the fetid rookeries of Londonium, and his subsequent rise through the ranks of the army. But each and every one of those things had been his enemy, had courted Death by pitting themselves against him. Now he was being asked to potentially kill Halflings that had never done him any wrong. Halflings who had taken the Kyng’s shilling just as he had. That wasn’t supposed to make a difference, but it did. If the time came would he be able to do it? He reckoned he still didn’t know.
Just then the beefy paw of Sergeant Harpie nudged Sharke from his reverie.
“Goblins Soir! Plenty of them too by the looks of it”.
Sharke peered down the hallway. Turning to Harpie he said “And they have a Trolka officer.” “Bastard” he added after a moment’s though.
“Sentinel save Guinalea!” added Harpie helpfully…
The Fellowship of the Thing
Major Giglamps (Section Leader): Experienced Mounted Infantry Orc armed with an Orc Artillery Pistol and Exquisite Sword.
Riekard Sharke (Assistant Section Leader): Official game stats for Sharke are available from Alternative Armies. However to get you up and running if you do not have access to those stats just treat Sharke as a Legendary (if not Sharke than whom?) Elite Light Infantry Orc armed with and Exquisite Sword and a Bakur Rifle.
Harpie: As with Sharke, if you do not have the official stats handy, treat Harpie as a Veteran Elite Light Infantry Bog Orc armed with a Seven Barrel Volley Gun and a Knife.
Louie Gallas: Experienced Light Infantry Ferach Elf armed with a Ferach Elf Musket and Bayonet.
Heinrich Himli: Experienced Light Infantry Dwarf armed with a Krautian Blunderbuss and Exquisite Axe.
Sergeant Qatar: Average Irregular Halfling armed with a Sword, the Thing, and a Mithril Hauberk. The Thing cannot be used in play. The Mithril Hauberk grants Qatar a plus 3 to Steady.
Sergeant McChutney: Average Irregular Halfling armed with a Sword and Sawn Off Blunderbuss. McChutney is a strapping big boned brawler of a Halfling who is capable of wielding a cut down blunderbuss.
Sergeant Balifine: Average Irregular Halfling armed with a Sword.
Regimental Bestie Gamgee Din: Average Irregular Halfling armed with Candy Floss Implements (counts as a spear in play). Dim had a Rapport with Qatar.
Points/Traits: Using Flintloque’s points system and the official stats for Sharke and Harpie this force comes to just a hair (or hare) over 400 points. Feel free to add traits, flaws, etc. to reach that amount or even making up a Fellowship of your own.
The Goblins of Moria
Stellar Skarsgard, Mercenary Captian: Experienced Irregular Trolka armed with an Exquisite Warhammer.
20 to 30 Savage Goblins: Average Irregular Goblins armed with a variety of Swords, Axes, Clubs, Spears, and Bows*. Some wear mail hauberks, some have shields, some have neither, some have both.
Points/Traits: Using Flintloque’s points system there should be about 600 points of Moria troops. If you choose to use more high tech goblins, say musket armed brigands, you might need to cut the points down to 500 for a good game.
Bows: The Goblins of the Gobla Kush use fairly rudimentary bows. These weapons have a good rate of fire but lack hitting power and frankly the number of arrows one can comfortably carry is a bit on the low side.
Stats: 0-15 cm, 60/3, 15-30 cm 40/2. Bows may fire once every turn (no need to reload) but any result of doubles means the bow has either broken or the archer has run out of arrows. The figure discards the bow and fights on with its secondary weapon. Bows cost 4 points.
Amour: Grants the wearer +1 to Steady vs. melee attacks only. Note that this differs from Qatar’s Mithril Hauberk, which, being an of an altogether more effective material and construction offers +3 to Steady vs. both fire and melee attacks. Armour costs 2 points.
Shields: The tough Giant Yak hide shields of the Gobla Kush region not only protect from the blows of melee weapons, they have even been known to deflect musket balls. Shields give the bearer +1 to Steady vs. all attacks. Shields cost 3 points.
Note that a figure with two or fewer arms, tentacles, or similar prehensile appendages, cannot use a bow and a shield at the same time. Although both could be carried the bow would have to be set aside before the shield could be used.
Map and Set Up:
The play area is roughly a roughly 2 foot square subterranean chamber. In the center of the chamber is a dais upon which lies the sarcophagus of Balin. There is a wide door on the middle of the south wall of the chamber and another door, only one figure wide on the center of the east wall. Depending on your inclination and terrain collection you can make this table top as chaotic as you like with columns, raised areas, and alcoves a plenty. Just remember that the more choke points you create on the table top, the easier it will be for the Fellowship to confront the goblins on an equal frontage, giving the defenders the advantage.
The Fellowship deploy anywhere in the chamber at least 20cm from the entrance in the south wall.
The Goblins deploy beyond just outside the door in the south wall, in a nominal corridor that is wide enough to allow two goblins to stand side by side (about 2 inches wide).
Scenario Objectives and Game Length:
The Goblins know the Halflings carry something for which the Star Wraith will reward them handsomely. The Goblins receive one point for each Halfling reduced to zero wounds and carried off the table through the door in the south wall.
The Fellowship receive one point for each Halfling not carried off by the Goblins.
A Fellowship character may make a melee attack against a goblin carrying a Halfling he must fight the goblin carrying it instead. If the goblin is pushed back (or killed obviously) it has lost control of the Halfling to the Fellowship.
The game lasts until the Goblin player either carries off enough Haflings to win or concedes defeat.
Endless Goblin Option: Major Giglamps chose to stand rather than fly based on his assessment that this was just an advanced party of goblins. Giggers reckoned he could fight off this party and then hasten the party along with minimal interference from the other goblins still gathering throughout Moria.
What if Major Giglamps’ assessment had been incorrect? To explore this option allow the goblin player to replace each of his or her figures removed from play just outside the southern door of the chamber at the start of the following turn.
Starting with turn 5 the Fellowship player rolls a d10 at the start of each turn. If the combined total of the d10 plus the upcoming turn equals or exceeds 15, the Fellowship figures may leave the chamber through the east door so long as they have sufficient movement to do so…and no enemy figures block their path of course.
If using this option the game lasts until the Fellowship player no longer has any figures on the table with at least one wound. Any Halflings left on the table at game end give points as if the goblins had carried it off…Sharke may still score a half point per Halfling as noted under the Special Rules below. Bastard.
“Prevent the Thing or any of the Halflings from falling into enemy hands…by any means necessary”:
Sharke can earn a half point by inflicting one wound on a Halfling before it is carried off the table. This award can only be garnered once per Halfling. This provision negates the usual prohibition against attacking friendly figures.
“Goblins in the Galleries”:
The door in the south wall has been smashed off its hinges and the doorway is covered by multiple bow goblins lurking in the gallery above the corridor. Any Fellowship figure activated within 5cm of the door is subject to a close range bow shot before it acts. Any Fellowship figure over 5cm up to 15cm from the door is subject to a medium range bow shot before it acts. The steep angle of shots from the gallery into the chamber, prevent the bow goblins in the gallery from shooting at any figures further than 15cm from the door.
This article was written exclusively for Orcs in the Webbe and was first published on the 14th December 2015 as part of it's 2015 Advent Calendar.