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    Avatar photoPadre

    Thanks Mike.

    I thought I would dive in and do the next a little sooner than I usually manage. It ain’t a long one!

    The two chancellors answer questions from their new captain, in Part 47 of Tilea’s Troubles.

    My Tilean Campaign can be found at https://bigsmallworlds.com/

    Avatar photoMike

    Cool, of course.
    Dwarves on the way!!

    Do you have or have you thought about having multiples of the same figure so you can convert it to be in varying poses/gear?

    The goblets are converted weapons I guess?

    PS: not seen Linka in a quite a while!!

    Avatar photoPadre

    I have done that with one or two figures in the past, that will feature in future videos.

    I put scratch-built goblets in their hands instead of weapons.

    My Tilean Campaign can be found at https://bigsmallworlds.com/

    Avatar photoPadre

    Please forgive the jumping back and forth through time, but this story is set in the campaign’s present day, which I am sure will please my players.

    The Great Arcanum
    Somewhere near Campogrotta, Autumn, 2404

    They had been sent to meet the new engine of war, to ensure it took the prepared path upon the final stretch of its journey, the surest and quickest way, to be brought safe and sound to the army. They had already visited its attendants’ camp, placed several hundred yards ahead of it, along the rocky valley. They had held their tongues, and none had spoken to them, for all were commanded so. The engine’s crew and guards were to speak to no-one, nor vice versa, under the pain of death. Gradger and Farrgrin must show the way with gestures alone!

    Now, as they approached the engine itself, there was a disagreement between them, as Gradger suddenly came to a halt.

    “No and never,” declared Gradger. “Not I. I shall go no closer. I saw-full the curse afflicted by the first such engine. Bursting boils and bleeding sores. Corpse piles. If it has stopped, then whichever idiot-fool allowed it to do so should be punish-whipped. We can show them the way without being close-by. We need not even look upon it.”

    Farrgrin had rarely seen the engineer’s mate so terrified – a fuming fury of fear! Gradger had been nervous before, much worried, as was to be expected of all servants, and he was often inquisitive, on occasion perilously so, but never this filled with dread. It suddenly occurred to him that as an engineer’s mate of considerable experience, Gradger might be afraid he would be ordered to tend upon this new war-machine, to become part of its crew. That would explain his behaviour.

    “Calm-quiet yourself,” soothed Farrgrin. “You know-understand little. This engine is not the same as the last. Not at all. This one does not bleed-leak death.”

    Gradger’s snorted laugh in response could not, thought Farrgrin, be a pleasant thing to experience inside his mask.

    “I know not which, but you are mistaken or false-lying, for if what you say were so, then what use would this engine be to all and any? What use is a bombard that does not kill?”

    “You would do well-better if your mask did not make you deaf. I said-spoke only that it does not leak death. I assure you, this can kill-destroy just as well as the first – whole cities and armies entire.”

    Gradger was shaking his head.

    “How so?” he asked, “If it can be approached without harm, does it not bear the same poison as the first? Tell-explain.”

    “Come now, brave friend, and I shall show-reveal all. When you look upon it you will see; you will understand.”

    “No, and never. Only a double fool would draw near-close to it by choice. I have seen its attendant-guards. Each and all carrying goggle-masks and breathing tubes. Each and all in waxed-cloth and leather robes. Just as before. Just the same. If what you claim-say is the truth, then why would they do so? Why and what for?”

    “Those are only the ones who are close to it every day, week after week. Those who merely pass by, to glance upon it, even those who guard it this night or that, occasional and rare, for only hours at a time, need wear no such things.”

    Gradger pointed a crooked, clawed finger at Farrgrin,

    “How can you know for certain-sure? You do not attend it. You have never even seen it!”

    “I know for I have eyes and ears, and I carry messages for many a chieftain and clawleader. I have heard orders, read words. Come, we shall see. I would not go myself if it were not safe, yes? This engine is made better, bigger. Deadlier in use yet safer to move. All will run-flee before it or die and die by the thousands. None can face such a weapon as this.”

    Farrgrin began to walk further down the rocky gully and Gradger reluctantly followed, the sound of hissing breath from inside the mask revealing his ongoing trepidation. Almost lost in the rush of fear, something was niggling at Gradger’s mind, something about Farrgrin knowing such secrets.

    When they turned into the clearing to stand before it, Gradger gulped and pulled his mask tighter about his head.

    “Look-see,” said Farrgrin, attempting to sound reassuring. “There, there it stands, and yet the green-grass about it does not wither-die. Its attendants busy themselves about it, with ne’er a sign of sickness-pain.”

    Gradger was, for a moment, speechless. What Farrgrin was saying was clearly true, but now a new concern assaulted him. All that he knew of bombards meant he could not believe what he was looking at. The barrels, both of them, were so huge that the carriage seemed altogether insufficiently sturdy.

    “It launch-fires two grenadoes?” he asked. “Why would anyone try-attempt such? How will it not shiver-break on first firing? How could it ever fire twice?”

    “Yes. Yes – it throws two,” said Farrgrin, feeling glee at knowing more about the engine than his engineering friend. “And at one and the same time. That way it need not fire more than once, for once is all and everything.”

    Gradger seemed to understand. “Two to make one,” he said.

    “Two to open a very hell upon the foe-enemy,” declared Farrgrin, getting a little carried away. “Each grenade carries only half that which is needed, and not the same mix at all. So, no poison-leaks; no forever moving. Only when broken and mixed are they made deadly: explosively and massively. The poison is a gift only the enemy-foe will know.”

    Inside his mask, Gradger’s eyes squinted as he scrutinised the engine.

    “No, no,” he said quietly. “This is asking too much. Both to fire at once; to follow the same course; to travel the same distance; to break at the same moment. This cannot be done! Such would surely need too perfect-pure an alignment, in elevation, in weights, to the tiniest degree. Even the burning of the primer would have to be exactly equal. Besides, such a carriage could never bear the strain-shock of a double discharge.”

    “Perfection is not required,” explained Farrgrin. “The grenadoes are made to burst big, and that which they hurl forth only need to caress the cloud made by the other to bring forth their destruction. I saw-read it. I carried the orders, the explanations. An infusion of occult virtues, they said. The incendiary sublimination of both sulfurous and mercurial warpstone, to ferment a projected multiplication of a deathly quintessence.”

    On any other occasion, Gradger would surely have immediately questioned how it was that the likes of Farrgrin was allowed to peruse such arcanum, but just now he was still too tangled in other thoughts.

    “Yes, yes, stirred together,” he said, “even the vapours thereof, it could be done, but only by one who was prepared to die in the doing of it. For this to do it, that is too much. The first engine was simple: wheels, barrel and bomb. It was to throw already blended death, already potent poisons, which need only shatter and burst in the right spot-place. All it had to do was fire-shoot but one grenado. Simple indeed, yet still it failed. Who would think that by attempting twice as much, necessarily in one and the same moment and in perfect unison, success was more certain?”

    “You can think it,” said Farrgrin. “Consider why the first one failed. It plague-burned all and everyone who approached. Even those who attended it, despite their protective filterings and robes, were slowly poisoned. Its very own crew, in the moving of it alone, themselves suffered a slow death. How could they expect-hope succeed when so pained, so afflicted?”

    Gradger was not satisfied with this answer. “You can believe it, but you cannot know. There are none alive who really know what happened to the first, only that it burst-blasted the land through which it rolled, and not the city.”

    “Yes, yes,” replied Farrrgin. “I and all know that. All within sight-view of its failure died. But Gradger, you saw those who attended it – escorts and guards. You saw them weaken-fail. You saw the corpses of those who died on the journey. You saw the ground poison-burned wheresoever it moved, the circumexpiration it scratched around Ravola. Whatever mistake-blunder its crew committed, whatever foolish fault, whatever shoddy choice-decision they made before Campogrotta, their pain-addled minds cannot have helped. This time, with this engine, there will be no such failure. Those who tend it will have clear minds, and the strength of will and body to do all and everything that must be done. “

    “Maybe so,” said Gradger. “Perhaps they could practise a most perfect precision. But timber, iron and black powder are what they are, no more. Bolts, braces and brackets are only as strong as they can be. The mere moving of such an engine will stress-strain every part, slowly but surely weakening the whole.”

    “Hush now,” ordered Farrgrin. “Speak-say no more of this. Keep your worry-fear to yourself. Much is expected of this engine. None may ridicule-mock, none may cast doubts, not without punishment.”

    Gradger fixed his eyes on Farrgrin. “Friend Farrgrin, promise me. If ever you carry orders to make me tend this engine, scratch out my name-mark. For that I will be in your debt-service and will pay much and more.”

    “Willingly, friend Gradger, I promise and assure,” said Farrgrin. “If I am given such to carry. For now, you work hard upon your own engine. Be necessary-irreplaceable. That way and then you will not be asked to tend this one.”

    Gradger was not convinced, for he saw a dilemma. Hard work might well mean being kept in place, but it could easily mean promotion instead. If this engine was the most important in the army, then would not the best engineers and mates be assigned to it? And double the dilemma, for shoddy work and laziness might lead to punishment, which could take the form of being assigned to this, the most dangerous of weapons to its own crew. Depending on the commanders’ whims, either good working or lazy shirking could mean being forced to work this engine!

    How could he possibly know what to do?

    My Tilean Campaign can be found at https://bigsmallworlds.com/

    Avatar photoMike

    ooooh that is an interesting idea, is it a GW idea/machine or summat of your own invention?

    Come now man thing, speak quick quick.

    Avatar photoPadre

    It is a kitbash. Partly GW parts and partly toys (the barrels).

    My Tilean Campaign can be found at https://bigsmallworlds.com/

    Avatar photoMike

    Thanks, I meant the idea of mixing upon impact, rather than prior to launch.

    Avatar photoPadre

    See the PM. And keep schtum, just in case. 😉

    My Tilean Campaign can be found at https://bigsmallworlds.com/

    Avatar photoMike

    Just read it, mums the word.

    Avatar photoPadre

    Part 48 of Tilea’s Troubles is now available. It features a Bronzino galloper model, plus my attempt to scratch-build a second!

    Some pics

    My Tilean Campaign can be found at https://bigsmallworlds.com/

    Avatar photoMike

    Excellent work sir!
    Thanks for posting.

    Animosity rules for the various factions?

    Do you play WFRP?

    Any more behind the scenes videos?

    Avatar photoPadre

    You’ll see how they do in a forthcoming battle report.

    I did play WFRP, from the mid 80’s to a few years ago. I would now if life allowed for it. I got two scenarios in the old Warpstone Magazine.

    I hope to do a new behind the scenes soon.

    Meanwhile …. Ever wondered how to negotiate with goblins? Then take a look at part 49 of my Warhammer Fantasy Tilean campaign. See https://youtu.be/THomiJiJ5U8

    My Tilean Campaign can be found at https://bigsmallworlds.com/

    Avatar photoPadre

    Tilea’s Troubles, part 50 is up. Master Mugello’s letter focuses on Razger Bouldergut’s rampage across the realm of Pavona, but also knits a lot of past events from the campaign together. Hopefully those of you who want a clearer understanding of the general situation will like this one.

    Some pics …

    My Tilean Campaign can be found at https://bigsmallworlds.com/

    Avatar photoMike

    Cool, I liked the format/feel of this one.


    Avatar photoPadre

    I try to be somewhat experimental with the videos and will continue to do so!

    My Tilean Campaign can be found at https://bigsmallworlds.com/

    Avatar photoPadre

    Aaargh! I can’t get my new story to post. It keeps saying it’s a duplicate reply ‘cos I accidentally clicked it twice, but now not even the first reply is showing. What to do?

    My Tilean Campaign can be found at https://bigsmallworlds.com/

    Avatar photoPadre

    Nope. It really won’t let me post. Help!

    My Tilean Campaign can be found at https://bigsmallworlds.com/

    Avatar photoPadre

    And now back to the present day. Dizzying, eh?

    Eyes and ears, of different kinds

    Part One: Somewhere in Tettoverde Forest, Autumn, 2404

    The spellsinger, Ascal Arconvale, could see that High Lord Veluthil was dreading the reports, for they might reveal something much worse than that which he already feared.

    Was the rat-men army even greater in size than the most bloated of previous estimations? If so, the enemy might be willing to sustain the cruel losses that encroachment into the forest realm would inevitably incur, knowing they could nevertheless retain sufficient strength to gain victory in the final battle. Did the rat-men possess more of their terror weapons? Merely one such engine could fatally poison the very heart of the forest and bring about its complete ruin, transforming the sylvan realm of Tettoverde into a desert. Had the enemy already begun corrupting the forest’s denizens, twisting them into servants of evil? Or were they introducing potent pestilences to moulder the trees and fatally infect the fauna.

    Apart from their novel war-engine, all these things the rat-men had attempted before, in ages past. There was no wickedness they would not stoop to, no danger they would not hazard (at least, when it came to their own servants’ lives). Theirs was a twisted, cunning genius, if grasping and impatient, which lured them down cruel and destructive paths. They loved only their own lives and power, looking upon all other creatures with disdain, even disgust. To them, every thing was to be consumed or possessed, having worth only in so far as it could benefit their own selfish lusts and ambitious cruelties. There was no destructive novelty so hazardous or dangerous that they would not attempt to harness it fully, going to the extreme, and what they had done near Campogrotta proved they clearly still possessed this predilection.

    Cioran Brightmoon, commander of the Waywatchers, and Captain Hedre Eedwillow of the River Watch, had come to deliver their reports. Two weeks before, Lord Veluthil sent servants to all sides of the Campogrottan realm: on boats, on foot, on horseback and even flying upon war-hawks. He admitted to Ascal that by doing so the rat-men would surely learn that they were being watched, but he considered it far more important right now to know as much as possible concerning the enemy’s strength, disposition and plans, than to remain hidden. Upon consideration, Ascal thought it was no bad thing that the enemy knew they were being spied upon, intently and from all about, for it might make them think twice about encroaching further into the forest. Despite being thoroughly wicked and as cruel as devils, the rat-men were also craven cowards. When the forest was angered, as it indeed was after the poisoning of its north-western reaches, it took on a terrible countenance and became very dangerous to strangers.

    After the formal greetings such an audience required, and upon Lord Veluthil’s instructions that they should both endeavour to be thorough and concise, Captain Hedre delivered her report first.

    She had ventured west along the River Ancar to learn that any who may have dwelt there had long since gone, with only a handful of signs of more recent habitation, perhaps little more than campsites where travelers had stayed but one or two nights. Upon approaching the city of Campogrotta, she encountered not just the first ratmen in any real numbers, but also several engines within range of the river, one of which spat an unnatural lightning which boiled the waters wherever it touched into an ill-coloured steam. Knowing it would be suicide to remain, she ordered her vessel rowed away.

    Having nothing more to report, it was Cioran’s turn. He had more to say, for he and his waywatchers had crept much closer to the city, some few even going within the walls in the darkest hours of the night, and lingered longer.

    “The city swarms with them, my lord, as one might expect of their kind. Counting them is no easy task, indeed quite impossible, for they scurry about incessantly, and from a distance look much alike. But they are army, and nearly all we spied were warriors.

    They have placed guards throughout the city…

    … at every portal, whether door or gate …

    … and at every junction and bridge, with still more guarding the poor souls they have enslaved. We caught only glimpses of their war machines, for they are within the city walls …”

    Lord Veluthil raised his hand to silence Cioran, asking, “Within the walls? Are you certain of this?”

    “Yes, my lord. They have several large artillery pieces, kept in the city’s squares with guards and attendants a-plenty.” Glancing over at Hedre, he added, “We too saw one upon the walls close to the river.”

    Although others would struggle to notice, Ascal could see a hint of relief in Veluthil’s face, and she knew why. If the machines were kept close to the ratmen, in the very heart of the city, then they could not be akin to the terror engine, for that had poisoned the very ground over which it had travelled and destroyed all life in every place it rested. If these engines were within the city, attended by many, then many would be suffering.

    And yet, Lord Veluthil was clearly not completely re-assured, for he enquired further.

    “Were the enemy in any way suffering weakness or illness, or showing signs of injury?”

    “Not that I could see, my lord.”

    “And the engines’ attendants and guards – were they like unto the rest of the army? Garbed in the same manner? Or were they masked, and swathed in robes and leather?”

    “Some, my lord, had masks, but not all and not many. Others elsewhere were also masked, even away from the engines. It seems to be a fairly common practise among their kind. There were robed warriors patrolling the roads about the city in strength, but they wore no masks.”

    Cioran had always been thorough, and Ascal knew he would not be feigning knowledge he did not possess.

    “Did you ascertain the enemy’s purpose?” enquired Lord Veluthil. “Are they making preparations to leave?”

    “They gave no sign of such preparations, my lord. But they are present in strength, and well-armed.”

    “How so?”

    “They most commonly carry heavy bladed polearms, somewhat akin to halberds …

    … but considering how many also carry shields, these must be employed like spears. They act as any garrison would: eating, sleeping, watching. I myself saw one cooking up some kind of pottage in a great cauldron …

    … the stench of which was foul, for despite the boiling in of herbs and weeds the fact that the fleshmeat had turned could not be concealed. I dread to think it, but I doubt it was the flesh of an animal.”

    “Beyond the usual activities of garrison soldiers, they have placed strange totems about the city, bearing rags or brass icons, even cymbals, and sometimes a cluttered mess of several such things. The purpose of these I could not ascertain …

    … for the ratmen do not seem to pray before them or show any form of respect. They do not muster at them as they might regimental standards, nor use them to mark boundaries of some kind, although such could be possible, I suppose, without being obvious to any but their own kind. They have no cavalry of any sort, but they have some beasts, and the city swarms with rats, some as large as cats or even bigger, flitting around frantically in packs.”

    “Have they sent out any scouts?” asked Ascal. “Or foraging parties? And are there any signs at all they intend to march forth at some point?”

    “What few venture out do not go far,” answered Cioran. “As for supplies, they appear to have sufficient for their current needs within the city itself. My best guess, giving all that I have seen, is that they are waiting. For whom or what, there is yet no sign.”

    “My lord, they suffered casualties when their weapon exploded,” said Ascal. , now addressing Lord Veluthil.

    “And likely lost more in the fighting before and after that event, in the taking of the realm. Despite their current strength, they themselves might well consider their army too weak to pursue further conquest, especially if they intend to leave a force behind to hold their newly acquired possession. Considering their past behaviour, their need to swarm against their foes, it seems likely they are awaiting reinforcements.”

    Lord Velthuthil nodded gravely. “And when they receive them, what will they do next?” he asked.

    Ascal presumed it was a rhetorical question. If the enemy were awaiting reinforcements, that would be bad enough. But should they bring another engine capable of the poisonous destruction of the first, then the situation was dire, and the need for action urgent. Ascal held her tongue, however, for there was little she could offer by way of reassurance. Beyond simply risking everything in an attempt to attack and defeat the foe immediately, when such sacrifice might prove unsuccessful, even unnecessary (if the foe had no intention of advancing into the forest), she could think of no plan of action beyond biding time and hoping for an opportunity.

    If the rat-men presently believed themselves to be weak, then considering their historic spinelessness when faced with real challenges, perhaps the elves’ best course of action was to attack as soon as possible? But fighting outside of the forest would put Lord Veluthil’s army at a great disadvantage, especially assaulting a walled city. On the other hand, waiting for the rat-men to enter the shadow of the trees might prove too late to defeat them, especially if they had more
    terror weapons.

    Ifs and buts a-plenty, thought Ascal. Such was ever the way of war. She was glad Lord Veluthil bore the burden. She had only to obey.

    Caught up in these rather unpleasant thoughts, Ascal had not heard Cioran’s last words – a fault she sought to rectify immediately.

    “We did find the tunnel’s mouth, which they must have used to approach the city from the south,” he was saying. “Large enough for engines, and presently abandoned. It looked to have been recently made, though within a hundred yards or so was what appeared to be a more ancient passageway, passing deep into the ground, in complete darkness. I considered exploring further, but already several of our number had become too sick to journey onwards – an affliction which began when we crossed the river on the salvaged vessels. The air within the tunnel seemed to exacerbate their illness. So we left and returned to the forest proper. I ordered the sick remain in the vale of Corcalen, there to be tended, while I came to you my lord.”

    Again, Lord Veluthil nodded, and the company fell silent. At last, he spoke,

    “There is much to consider, and to weigh. I will listen to what the warhawk riders have to say before I decide our next moves. In the meantime, consider the matter yourselves, for I may ask for further counsel.”

    Part Two: Somewhere in Campogrotta, Autumn, 2404

    Farrgrin was not exactly happy this task had fallen to him, despite knowing that if he was now considered worthy enough to speak directly to Seer-Lord Urlak Ashoscrochor then his own status had surely improved. His only previous encounters with Lord Urlak had been when handing missives to clerks, when he had simply been in the Grey Seer’s vicinity, not expected to speak at all, and certainly not to Lord Urlak. He was more nervous now than he had been when out with the scout-spies, knowing the enemy was both near and watching.

    His heart was racing, his throat dry, even his vision had blurred. He shook his head, as if to rid it of the fog. As his surroundings refocused, he realised Lord Urlak was staring right at him!

    “Well, speak-explain. What have you learned?” demanded Lord Urlak.

    Despite how obvious it was, it still took Farrgrin a moment to understand it was he himself who was being addressed.

    “Elves, Lord and Master, great and noble. By … by which I mean to speak-say, not that the elves are great and noble, but you, mighty lord, great and …”

    “Cease and stop your blather-babble. Answer quick and to the point. You have but one-single chance, here and now, to satisfy me, or I shall find someone who can and will, and you shall learn quick and painful what it means to disappoint me.”

    Farrgrin sensed an increased malice in the yellow clad warriors of Urlak’s bodyguard regiment. They lurched almost imperceptibly forwards, their clawed hands gripping their weapons’ hilts and shafts a little tighter.

    “We have seen-spied elves. Sk … skulk-hiding in the green leaves. Watching, spying.”

    “And counting, no doubt. I myself know of the sky hawks, yes, for I saw-spied them with mine own eyes over the city. But you saw more. Where and what?”

    “At the edge of the green-trees, near-close to the bridge at Tarano. Not many but a few, with spears and bows and green-cloth cloaks.”

    “On the far side of the river-water?” enquired Lord Urlak.

    “Great and noble lord, no, no. On this-here side, where the forest-trees grow between the west-road and the river.”

    “Then you were able to capture-catch them, yes? With the river behind to prevent their escape-flight.”

    “We would and could, high and mighty master, if the trees had not been so thick-close, and the elf-things so slippery-quick, and had there been more than four of us. The trees there, they are no copse-grove, but many and more, for the forest itself crosses the water, then on to a width of nearly a mile and more than a league long.”

    “A satisfyingly long list of excuses, I am certain sure, and all delaying your answer. You did not catch them?”

    Farrgrin dreaded answering, for there was a hint of criticism and disappointment in Lord Urlak’s tone, and it did not do to upset one’s master. But as they had no elves to offer up, he could only speak truthfully.

    “No, no, your high and mightiness.”

    He was surprised when Lord Urlak’s next words were neither threatening nor cruel, yet a part of him knew it would have been foolish to expect such. Lord Urlak was wise and therefore had the measure of his servants. Only a fool would expect so few to catch fleet-footed elves in their own forest.

    “Tell me, did they cross the river-water by the bridge?”

    “No, great lord. We questioned the guard-soldiers there. Only our warriors have crossed – nothing and no-one else, neither way and for many a day.”

    “Then they can cross the waters some other way,” mused the grey seer. “The forest, you said – a mile by a league? Large, and big enough to hide an army?”

    “Such a thing could stand within, but I assure and promise you, your mighty highness, there was no army there.”

    “Yes, yes. But if they wanted-chose, they could hide one there. Perhaps the trees ought to be burn-destroyed, so that none remain north of the river, leaving nowhere for them to creep and hide.”

    No-one answered, as they knew Lord Urlak was merely thinking aloud, and would only have been annoyed by someone speaking.

    He turned to look at the claw leader also present.

    “And you, and your scouts, whither-where did you go?”

    “Great lord, we crossed the bridge, south and south-east, to the very edge of the poisoned land. There we scour-searched, along each and every path, old and new, looking for signs of passage, and enemy-foes.

    “And you found such?”

    “We saw horse-riders, a dozen or so, who fled-escaped upon seeing us.”

    “How many were you?” asked Lord Urlak, a hint of mockery in his tone.

    “Six and me, all ready, all keen.”

    “And you think and believe the riders fled because they were afeared of you? Yes?”

    The claw-leader’s eye twitched, and his tail flicked involuntary. His lips curled in fear to reveal all his teeth as he spoke.

    “I would never and not claim such a thing, great and mighty mightiness, only that they rode fast and passed. Away and not towards. They loosed no arrows; threw no spears.”

    “They rode where they wanted to ride, simply spying you as they did so.”

    “Yes, noble lord, yes. Too far away and too quick for us reach them.”

    Lord Urlak shushed the claw-leader with a gesture of his finger.

    “Riding errands, hither and thither. Carrying messages and dispatching spies to creep and sneak. There’s an army somewhere, I am certain-sure. But will they emerge from the forest’s-shadow? Have they come to assault-attack, or just to watch and wait?”

    My Tilean Campaign can be found at https://bigsmallworlds.com/

    Avatar photoPadre

    The fourth modelling and painting special video for my Tilean campaign is now available, all about horse riders, and featuring models from as far back as the early 1980s!

    My Tilean Campaign can be found at https://bigsmallworlds.com/

    Avatar photoMike


    I am moving up north hopefully soon and I will be able to have my own hobby room.
    The plan is to have a table set up full time, and it may even be a 6×4.
    The dream is real.

    I keep thinking about how awesome my 10mm WFB games will look on such a big space with 1000’s of models.

    But then I see your 28mm stuff which has more personality and then I am not sure.
    Why do this to me?
    (But don’t ever stop!)

    Avatar photoPadre

    Sounds like exciting developments ahead for you. Good luck!

    Tilea’s Troubles part 51 is a story set in an autumnal garden. Good job I had a figure of a gardener with some buckets!

    My Tilean Campaign can be found at https://bigsmallworlds.com/

    Avatar photoMike

    Cool as normal, the lighting seemed bluer?
    Is that the case, or are my eyes buggered?

    Avatar photoPadre

    Your eyes are good. Half the photos (all wider shots for certain) are the originals from back several years ago – different ceiling bulbs, different camera. Several of the closer ones are reposed. Had to do them three times, as the first batch were way too different in light. Then after sorting and editing the second batch, I realised the building behind was the wrong way around. Sheesh!

    My Tilean Campaign can be found at https://bigsmallworlds.com/

    Avatar photoPadre

    The prequel to a new battle report is up – being part 52 of my Tilean campaign. The Holy Army of Morr will face the vampire duchess’s army!

    It’s at https://youtu.be/8F7lhAa71xc

    Some pics from it …

    My Tilean Campaign can be found at https://bigsmallworlds.com/

    Avatar photoMike

    Cool Cool, Fleglers for the win!!

    Avatar photoPadre

    Thank you Mike!

    Tilea’s Troubles Part 53, is now available. The Holy Army of Morr, commanded by the arch-lector of Remas and his general d’Alessio, take on the vampire Duchess Maria’s army. Will Father Biagino survive?

    Loads of old figures in and amongst 40 years’ range of figures.

    See https://youtu.be/qBplW2Gy7VM

    Some pics …

    My Tilean Campaign can be found at https://bigsmallworlds.com/

    Avatar photoPadre

    … And back to the present day end of my campaign.

    But Does It Augur Well?
    The Island of Sartosa, Autumn 2404

    Five captains and first-mates, of different crews, being the quorum required by the grand articles for the swearing of a new captain into the fleet, had gathered near the pledging ring, where Kroll awaited them.

    The admiral, Leopold Volker, was present, of course, as well as Captain Anssem van Baas, and three first mates, being the dwarf Bald Kuzmoul of Captain Leadforge’s crew, the goblin Coboc Draald of Bagnam Farque’s crew and Geordt (more commonly known as Jambalo), the one-legged representative of Captain Garique.

    Kroll towered over them, as would any ogre, although he was tall even among his own kind.

    His blade alone was the length of a boarding pike, and his piece, held like a pistol in the other hand, was akin in size to a swivel gun, and not one of the smaller ones. He wore an iron belly plate as did so many ogres, which might be supposed a hazard for a seafarer, considering how much quicker he would sink should he ever enter the water, but then his general bulk, heavy woollen coat and huge leather boots would not prove conducive to floating anyway.

    Coboc emitted a strange, guttural, squeaking sound, as if his breathing had become suddenly laboured. Most took it to mean he was afraid, what with him being a goblin. Only Bald Kuzmoul was shorter than he, and in truth, the taller men next to him were nearly as nervous, just much better at concealing the fact. All except the admiral, who had seen such terrors in his days that a brute ogre was simply another encounter along the way. So it was, he was merely studying Kroll, as if to judge him, to weigh his worth, to decide what use he might be. And well the admiral might, as Kroll was here to be admitted to the fleet, and to receive a seat at the Captains’ Council table. (Despite the fact there was no seat large enough to accommodate him, nor even quarters high enough to admit him, apart from those upon his own ship, but that was a concern for later!)

    He was the only ogre among his crew, the rest being men and orcs, some of the latter weighing twice as much as the men, but not taller. There were rumours that he once had ratmen in his crew, but they seemed to be none now, which allowed those who doubted such could be the case to be more convinced it never was!

    The crew were mostly armed with axes, either two-handed or boarding axes, being famously skilled in their use, either in a fight or to expertly and quickly hack their way through bulkheads. One might wonder why they were needed when their captain Kroll could surely slice (perhaps even punch?) his way through even the hardest old oak, but he could hardly be everywhere at once could he? Besides, as he himself had declared – having adopted what he believed were the ways of a gentleman captain – such manual labour would disparage the height of an ogre in him. Why stoop to the level of a rude, mechanical, seaman when he had servants to do such work? Fighting was of course a suitable pursuit for a noble captain, but carpentry was not.

    Kroll’s standard bore a death’s head above an hourglass, not because he and his crew were Morrites in faith (being instead worshippers of Stromfells or Ranald, according to their current needs) but because the image was intended as a statement of intent: “If you argue with us your time will run out.”

    The crew were grizzled veterans in the main, as were so many in the fleet, having served various realms, whether on fighting ships or merchant vessels, until greed, misfortune, desperation, or devilry drove them to become pirates. Some had the dead-eyed stare of men who had long since abandoned any hope or compassion for others …

    … while some bore the determined expression of men driven by a powerful desire for wealth, with not a care for what mayhem they caused in its pursuit.

    The orcs, however, were simply happy to eat when they wanted, fight when they could, and make cruel sport out of their enemies’ misfortunes. None, however, misbehaved in Kroll’s presence, for he was a hard taskmaster, and all knew that he would slice a crewmember in half at the drop of a hat if they displeased him, acting as judge and jury in such matters. But that was rare, for they went out of their way to keep him happy, and so it was they had had a fruitful career upon the seas so far, despite the malicious rumours of dealings with the ratmen.

    Until, that is, recently, when more and more ships, even merchants, were carrying guns, and ever larger contingents of professional fighters as well as sailors. The threat of the Sartosan Fleet had caused this sudden increase in armament, making piracy by individual ships that bit harder. This is why Kroll had decided to join the fleet itself, as it was a force large enough to plunder entire cities. He desired a share in such rich prizes, and knew there were several great cities yet to be looted.

    Admiral Volker, as was his right, spoke first.

    “This oath you are to take, Captain Kroll, is no petty thing. You are about to stand in the pledging ring, also named the auger circle, and not just because of the giant augurs it is fashioned from, but because any lie told within it augers ill, very ill, for he who speaks it.”

    Kroll grinned, revealing several teeth fashioned of gold. It was a sight somehow more disturbing than his usual scowl.

    “That I need not fear, but I do expect that by holding to my oath it will auger well for me.”

    “I shall do my best to ensure that,” answered the admiral. “For when my captain’s thrive, I thrive. We all thrive. You know how well our enterprises have gone? They were just the start. This is a time for pirates.”

    “Then let’s waste no more time on swearing and get to sailing,” said Kroll.

    The admiral nodded his agreement, then spoke to Geordt ‘Jambalo’,

    “You know the words of the oath, Geordt. You shall speak them. And you, Kroll, must affirm all the clauses. Now, take your place in the ring.”

    Kroll strode into the ring, stepping over a broken augur shell, then turned to look back at the gathered officers as they shuffled over to face him better.

    Geordt began immediately …

    “Do you swear to obey the admiral in battle?”

    “Aye,” growled Kroll.

    “And to be faithful to your fleet companions in all designs?”

    “I will,” answered the ogre. “So they’d better be good designs.”

    “And to strive to accomplish all ventures agreed to by vote of the fleet’s captains?”

    “No point in starting what you don’t intend to finish. I’ll see everything through to the end.”

    “Do you promise always to attend at the agreed rendezvous, responding whenever called upon?”

    “If the wind and weather can be overcome, I’ll be there.”

    “Will you die fighting rather than flee from an equal number of opposers, unless ordered to do so by the admiral?”

    “I have never fled any opposer, and damn them who claim I might have done. But aye, if the admiral thinks there’s nothing to be gained from a fight, then I’ll follow his orders accordingly.”

    “Will you swear never to desert your fleet companions, or leave them wounded in an enemy’s hands, if the admiral demands them back?”

    “The dead can rot on the sea bottom, but aye, if the admiral wants a fellow rescued, then I’ll do what I can, for all the usual compensations.”

    “Will you help your fleet companions if captured, imprisoned, sick or otherwise in need?”

    “I will do as much as any pirate on this fleet, but I don’t profess any knowledge of physic.”

    Geordt glanced at the admiral, who said,

    “That’ll do. He is joining as a ship’s captain, not a ship’s surgeon.”

    Geordt nodded, then continued,

    “Now repeat after me: ‘And this oath, when I break in the least tittle’ …”

    “And this oath, when I break in the least tittle …”

    “… ‘may Manaan and Stromfell’s curse befall me’ …”

    “may Manaan and Stromfell’s curse befall me …”

    “… ‘and may the greatest scurvies, plagues and damnation seize me here and hereafter’.”

    “And all those things, and worse if you like, for I shall never break my oath. Are we done?”

    “We’re done, captain,” said the admiral. “Welcome to the fleet.” He turned to the crew and asked,

    “What say you?”

    In answer came a confusion of ‘Ayes’ and ‘Huzzah’s’, but not a complaint amongst them.

    Admiral Volker’s fleet and army had just grown that bit stronger.

    My Tilean Campaign can be found at https://bigsmallworlds.com/

    Avatar photoMike

    Thanks, it is always odd to me seeing this sort of stuff coming from 3rd edition as I do.
    Orcs and men together, Ogres in charge of things, and shippy stuff was the domain of Man O War!


    I am wondering, how much effort would it be to post some of the stats from time to time?
    I would be keen to see how various models stack up in terms of mechanics.

    No worries if way too much faff.

    Avatar photoPadre

    Pirates do what they like! (I reckon.)

    Never been sure about stats and particular points values, etc, as I worry about IP on rules.

    Meanwhile … The sequel to the Battle for Ebino, being part 54 of Tilea’s Troubles, is now up!

    See https://youtu.be/-Nn-OXisR7M

    If you watch you may be surprised to learn the actual fate of a certain character.

    My Tilean Campaign can be found at https://bigsmallworlds.com/

    Avatar photoMike


    Avatar photoPadre

    It’s a turn up for the books!

    Now, back to the present day …

    Admissions and Admonishments Abound

    Verezzo, in the Great Hall of the Palazzo Davandati. Autumn 2404

    Barone Iacopo was feeling confident about the meeting with Lord Silvano Gondi of Pavona, especially as he had recently obtained firm promises of defensive military support from Verezzo’s old ally, Ridraffa. He believed the joint forces that could thus be fielded against Pavona now matched the enemy’s strength, perhaps even exceeding it. The Mayor of Ridraffa had long been (effectively) a nominee of Verezzo. Lord Lucca himself had ensured the current mayor’s position. This made the two states natural allies, and their shared suspicions of the Pavonans’ aggression now made them keen allies also. Yet Ridraffa had not directly suffered Pavonan abuses as Verezzo had, and so of the two, the Ridraffans were a somewhat less hungry for war.

    Still, Iacopo was glad the Mayor was present, so that Lord Silvano would realise he was now contending with two city states. Previously, the barone had done all he could to strengthen Verezzo’s forces, but progress was slow, due to a combination of factors, including the small funds available and the limited numbers of experienced mercenaries to hire after all the recent wars. Verezzo was not the largest of city states and so even raising native militia proved difficult, for want of able youngsters to fill the ranks.

    Mayor Rafaelle was accompanied by his wife, Lorena, which was perhaps a little unusual, for this was to be a parley between warring states, not a trade discussion or social meeting. Yet her presence might lend a degree of civility to the process. Barone Iacopo was familiar enough with the young Lord Silvano to know that he was less likely give vent to unrestrained anger before a noble woman, and certainly not commit an act of assassination like a Pavonan soldier had done weeks before. The barone was happy for her to provide inhibiting influence on his own behaviour. He harboured furious hatred towards the duke, but he wanted to remain in control, to play and more subtle game and play it well. Her presence might provide a check against sudden fits of anger.

    As well as Captain Muzio Vanni, the old condottiere commander of the pike regiment, now made lieutenant general of Verezzo’s army, the famous ex-brigand, Roberto Cappuccio was also present, for it was he who had most recently been the subject of Pavonan lies. Upon his return to Verezzo, after his sojourn through the realm of Pavona with his band of archers, causing as much trouble as he could (which turned out to be quite a lot), Barone Iacopo had rewarded Cappuccio’s commitment by commissioning him as Verezzo’s Scout-master General. Cappuccio had since begun wearing the livery of Verezzo, although still sported his famous green hat, and he never went anywhere without his trusty bow.

    When the infamous Pettirosso came into the hall, the barone was pleased to witness momentary surprise, if not discomfort, upon the young Lord Silvano’s face. To have such a fellow as an officer surely revealed the strength of the barone’s hatred of Pavona, and strongly hinted that he knew the truth concerning the claims of the recent assassination attempt upon Duke Guidobaldo.

    The young lord was accompanied by a single guard, armed with a handgun, although he had travelled with a large company of similarly armed soldiers. Perhaps, if he had attempted to bring more guards to the meeting, then objections may have been raised. But no-one thought to complain about a single companion, as such might be considered a necessary servant to accompany a nobleman, with duties beyond acting merely as an armed escort.

    “So, your father has finally deigned to send you to me, as I demanded many weeks ago?” said the barone. “I was not happy that he sent a babbling priest to me before, only for one of your own soldiers to slay him.”

    “I myself wanted to come,” answered Silvano. “And my father, ill though he is, at last gave me leave to do so. As for the soldier’s actions, I know not what came over him. He clearly had the wrong idea concerning what was expected of him.”

    Barone Iacopo fixed his eyes upon the Pavonan lord. “Oh, I think he knew full well what was expected of him, be it nothing more than to make more of a mockery of the supposed apology.”

    “I wish, barone, you would not presume such wickedness on my father’s part. Mistakes have been made, but this time the guilt was that of a foolish guard.”

    “Are you here, then, to confess your father’s sins and pray publicly for forgiveness? Or are we to play more cruel games and hear yet more excuses and lies?

    “Good barone,” said Silvano, “I humbly and honestly wish to forge a peace between our realms, in light of the new and deadly threats facing all of us. We cannot allow our realm’s disagreements to weaken us in such dangerous times.”

    Iacopo, and several other of his attendants, laughed.

    “And why should I believe you want peace, when your own father murdered our beloved Lord Lucca and plundered this, his realm even at a time when both vampires and ogres threatened all of Tilea? Your father had long sought any excuse to attack Verezzo – a despicable and base yearning he finally yielded to”.

    The young lord stiffened, and when he spoke his words were uttered likewise,

    “I am not my father.”

    Iacopo was quick to respond. “An apple does not fall far from the tree.”

    “You know me, barone. We marched together and took the field beside each other in the valley of Norochia, there to face hordes of ghouls and walking corpses. And with arrows, bullets, swords, and great courage, we did prevail. You and I, and those we commanded, proved ourselves that day. You know me.”

    “Aye, you were there,” countered the barone. “But not your father. He was too busy robbing our realm. Murdering our master.”

    The brigand Pettirosso suddenly interrupted, “I saw him and his knights slay Lord Lucca with mine own eyes.”

    “And all heard his lies afterwards,” added Iacopo. “Claiming it was the VMC’s soldiers who had disguised themselves as Portomaggiorans to do the deed.”

    “And now,” spat the Pettirosso, “he lies again, telling the world it was myself who attempted to assassinate him. I wish that it were, and that I had succeeded, for then vengeance would have been gained. But it was not I, despite my vow to do so, making his claims yet more lies.”

    There was silence, though there was something about the young lord’s demeanour that gave the impression it was not due to him being stuck for words.

    Iacopo broke the silence with a direct challenge,

    “I ask you, in earnest, is everything your father utters false? Has he ever spoken a word of truth?”

    Lord Silvano began silently, slowly, shaking his head, and this time answered with the slightest hint of anger in his voice.

    “I am not my father, but I rule now in his stead and will rule in my own right when my father enters Morr’s garden. Pavona’s present and future lie with me. I was never party to my father’s lies, nor present when they were spoken, only later learning of them. Now I look to find those willing to befriend me, not my father.”

    The Pettirosso was pointing at the young lord, quite contrary to what was customarily expected when addressing a noble superior, even of another city state.

    “So, you admit your father was lying?”

    Silvano answered easily, “I do, as did my father to General Valckenburgh, through me, having tasked me with explaining all that was done and why.”

    “Lord Silvano,” asked Iacopo, “you would have us believe that we can trust you? How is it that you are made so much better than your father? Or is it simply that you are a good enough liar to make it appear so.”

    “Since the war against Prince Girenzo, and the death of my brother,” said Silvano, “I have ever and always striven to do that which was right and proper, and to venture my own life in the defence of greater Tilea, not just Pavona. I have served the greater good, and holy Morr, both demanding and receiving permission to do so from my father. All I ask is that you judge me by my own merits.”

    Iacopo put his hands on his hips and looked askance at Silvano.

    “You did nothing more than the good Captain Vanni here and myself – serving in the alliance army under Lord Alessio, upon the orders of your lord and master. Why should we presume your good service makes you a more honest man? Even a goblin might obey his brute master’s commands, yet still lie with almost every utterance.”

    The mayor of Ridraffa’s wife gave a polite cough, and all turned to look at her.

    “By your leave, barone and my lord Silvano?” she asked.

    Both nobles nodded.

    “Norochia was not the only time the young lord fought against the vampires,” she continued. “He was at the terrible battle of Ebino, leading the charge against the enemy’s massed ranks. There his holiness Calictus died, the army scattered, forcing Lord Silvano to ride away. But had personally led his riders into the fray. Then, having only just recovered from near fatal wounds received when bravely fighting Boulderguts’ brutes in the Battle of Via Diocleta, he marched with you, my lord, in the alliance army to fight the vampires once again. Is all this not adequate proof of Lord Silvano’s earnestness to serve the common good?”

    Iacopo had forgotten that the mayor’s wife had Gondi blood, being a cousin of Duke Guidobaldo. It seems she possessed a great interest in her relations’ affairs, or perhaps just Lord Silvano? This would hardly help her understand the duplicitousness they were capable of. And yet … it was hard to argue against her. Lord Silvano was indeed a proven hero of battle after battle. A thought tickled at the edge of his consciousness, concerning how Duke Guidobaldo kept his son busy in the wars, or more accurately why he might have done so, but he lost a hold of it when Mayor Rafaelle spoke.

    “My wife speaks the truth, as you do too, Barone. There is good and bad in the Gondi family, as with any family perhaps. But we should surely not allow the faults and frailties of a dying man to prevent our proper defence of the realm?”

    Lord Silvano turned to speak to Iacopo, but the barone spoke first,

    “Yes, we know. You are not your father.”

    My Tilean Campaign can be found at https://bigsmallworlds.com/

    Avatar photoMike

    Ugh politics, let Morr sort them all…!

    Avatar photoPadre

    Now even more politics, but from the video timeline, two years behind the present day!

    Here is Tilea’s Troubles Part 55, which concerns several struggles in the Reman Church of Morr – the election of a new arch-lector and a schismatic uprising led by a ranting, radical preacher!

    Please be aware, there’s a full hellfire and damnation sermon in this one. I can only apologise, but the story required it, and the muse carried me along.

    An image …

    My Tilean Campaign can be found at https://bigsmallworlds.com/

    Avatar photoPadre

    In this new Tilea’s Troubles’ video, the brute ogres Mags and Brindill, then the two Compagnia del Sole chancellors Baccio and Ottaviano, discuss their woes, while Antonio Mugello’s letter to Lord Lucca unfolds.


    My Tilean Campaign can be found at https://bigsmallworlds.com/

    Avatar photoPadre

    Tilea’s Troubles Part 57 is up. The vampire Biagino begins his new work, for the ‘other’ side!

    It’s here …

    My Tilean Campaign can be found at https://bigsmallworlds.com/

    Avatar photoMike

    Dang, just started watching part 56..

    Avatar photoPadre

    Tilea’s Troubles, Part 58, is now available. Antonio Mugello imparts more of what he has learned in the second part of his letter to Lord Lucca of Verezzo.

    See https://youtu.be/n5n9HRJAYAY

    Some images from the video …

    My Tilean Campaign can be found at https://bigsmallworlds.com/

    Avatar photoMike

    I will catch up on these asap, promise!

    Avatar photoPadre

    I will catch up on these asap, promise!

    Keep up!

    The new Tilea’s Troubles video is up.

    Control of Remas has been wrested, really!

    Some images …

    My Tilean Campaign can be found at https://bigsmallworlds.com/

    Avatar photoPadre

    Two wizards nearly done. Gonna do a test game with the halflings, including these two, this weekend. I need to learn how to command them in the field. They are an NPC realm, but it is my duty as a GM to ensure they are not a complete ‘push over’!

    My Tilean Campaign can be found at https://bigsmallworlds.com/

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