Thursday 10 December 2020

Ye Olde Inn 2020 Christmas Exchange

It's that time of year again. Can't believe it was a whole year ago I was racing against the clock to convert and paint the chaos warrior that eventually made its way to Greece in time for Christmas. This year my recipient, and sender, live in the US. I'll post the figure I created once the recipient has got it (it is supposed to be a secret after all), but here is the model I just recieved in the post. Thanks secret Santa!

Monday 22 June 2020

Building a new board

I made a great find a little while back. The wife has an absolute ton of stationary and craft materials lying in our loft doing nothing, including hundreds of these brightly coloured tiles used for making mosaics. Seeing as they are pretty close to being the same size as the squares on the Heroquest board, I thought I could use them to make a new board.
This is what they look like laid out. Praise the gods, the wife had a whole bunch of interesting colours that I could use for this project.

I'm planning to use all the white tiles in the photo below to do the walls between rooms and corridors. Perhaps slice each white tile into 3 pieces to create thinner pieces? This should space the board out a bit more, and avoid the overcrowding that can happen on the original board.

The biggest thing stopping me from going ahead with this was that I wanted a board that would still be compatible with all the cardboard expansion tiles. But after laying them out on top, I think I can make it work.

With some figures set up;

A few closer pics of some of the tiles. As you can see the model bases are slightly larger than the marble tiles. This shouldn't be a problem as there will be filler between them to hold the whole thing together.

I'll post some updates when I eventually get cracking on this.

Thursday 5 March 2020

Part Three, The Tyrant's Tomb - a Solo Quest Pack

You can find part two here;

Next up we have the draft for Quest 8 - an adventure for both the Dwarf and Barbarian Heroes.

                                                      Quest 8 - The Screaming Spectre
The Barbarian & Dwarf's Tale (continued)...
"You have teamed up, Barbarian and Dwarf, all the better to hunt down the vile orc witch, Ghashlug, and her band of acolytes. After days of pursuit, you draw near to the Pillars of the Sky, the mountain range in the far north of the world.
As the Dwarf, you have had time to reflect on your situation. Where you thought you had been angry before, what you had in fact been experiencing was in fact mere Dwarvish indignation. What you are feeling now is red, blood-simmering, ear-pounding, nostril-cracking, honest-to-goodness stark, rage...simple slaughter was no longer on the agenda; you need to apply some really creative violence in dealing with these orcs (and Grinch & Grivois, for that matter).
As the Barbarian, you have also had time to ponder. Nothing can restore the slain members of your tribe to life, but at least they can rest with honour after your defeat of the orcs of Stalag Tor. Your Norse gods have woven for you a future without hearth or kin; you have become what the Valrings call a 'wave-man', tossed to and fro by fate. You seem to be caught up now in a story bigger than yourself. As if to cement the strange feeling, in the early hours you saw a very strange sight;  a flying carpet speeding over your heads, carrying what looked like an Elf and a Wizard, both desperately trying to hold on as a snow blizzard buffeted their bizarre mode of transportation. With your new ally the Dwarf, you set off in the same direction, with a nagging feeling that somehow this freakish event is linked with your overall purpose..."

Notes - This Quest is for the Barbarian and Dwarf Heroes. The Elf and Wizard will also be encountered, as the four Heroes fates finally become interwoven. The Heroes must cross over the Pillars of the Sky. Ice Gremlins infest these mountains; they have the stats - Move 10, Attack 2, Defend 3, Body 2, Mind 3, and may steal items as described in The Frozen Horror expansion.

A - Use the Ice River tiles from The Frozen Horror. Each square of the tile counts as 2 for movement purposes. Whenever a Hero enters an Ice River, or begins his turn there, he must roll 1 combat die; on a white shield he loses 1 Body Point.
B - Use the Ice Vault tiles from The Frozen Horror. The wind here is strong as it whips through the teeth of the mountains. Unless a Hero is wearing warm furs, he loses 1 Body Point from exposure for each turn he is in the room.
C - The Elf & Wizard Heroes are encountered here. Their magic carpet crashed into the mountainside during the blizzard. The Barbarian and Dwarf pull them out of the snow; they are half-dead, with only 1 Body Point each, and will need to use their healing spells to recover. The Wizard tells his rescuers all about Kyrax, their understanding helped by the fact that they already know all about  the orc witch and her acolytes. The Heroes will now have to work together to get over the high mountain pass in order to get to Mount Anger, the dwelling place of the great demon, Kyrax.
D - The Heroes are now at the top of the pass. As soon as the last Hero passes through the door into room E, a large avalanche is triggered from symbol D, and moves in the direction of the arrow. The corridors outside room are permanently blocked as per falling block traps, by tons of ice and snow. Any monster still in the corridors is killed.
E - Use the Snow Cave Entrance tile from The Frozen Horror here. Once avalanche D is triggered, this room is also at great risk from a second avalanche cascading off the mountainside. Tell all Heroes that they now have one more turn each to reach either of the other two doors leading off the tile, before the avalanche hits room E. Any Hero who cannot exit from room E by the end of this turn, is killed by the avalanche.
F - This cave is in pitch black darkness, thanks to the entrance being covered by the avalanche. The Heroes cannot see anything unless one of them has a Lantern, or the Wizard sacrifices a Fire spell. Whilst in darkness, a square can only be searched for secret doors and traps if a Hero is actually standing in it. On the evil Wizard's turn, place three Stone Creatures on the X's. These monsters have Move 4, Attack 3, Defend 5, Body 3, Mind 1. If the room is in darkness, a Hero can only attack them by rolling one combat die. However, if the Stone Creatures are hit by Thor's Hammer, double damage is caused.
G - Use the Ice Chasm tile from The Frozen Horror here. The chasm can be jumped as a pit, but a character is killed if they fall in. The Heroes can all cross safely if a Rope is used here, but the item is then lost.
H - The Ice Gremlins have constructed a magic trap in the square marked H. It can only be detected using the Scrying Glass, and is immediately disarmed upon detection. If not detected in this way, the first Hero to move into the square is magically encased in Ice. A fire spell must be sacrificed in order to get the Hero out, otherwise he is killed.
I - This is an abandoned hut on the mountainside. The Heroes must stop here for the night as a storm is coming up, and it is getting too dark to continue down the pass anyway. All Heroes regain 1 Body Point as they fall into an exhausted sleep. They are about to have a visitor however; a Hantu demon has been preying on the travellers in this region. On Morcar's turn, tell the Heroes that they are awakened by a ear-splitting scream. A hideous bone-white face appears upside down in the hearth, grinning like an open grave. Giggling madly, the Hantu now assaults all Heroes to the core of their being; body and soul. Each Hero rolls one combat die per mind point; if he cannot roll a white shield he is frozen in fear and will not be able to move, attack or defend until the Hantu is defeated. The Hantu has Move 10, Attack 4, Defend 2, Body 3, Mind 6. Don't tell the Heroes, but the demon can only be harmed with spells and magic artefacts. However, if a Hero has the Courage spell cast on him, he may attack the Hantu even with normal weapons. Once, the Hantu is destroyed, the storm and morning both break, and the Heroes can continue on their way.
J - Use the Ice Gremlin Loot tile from The Frozen Horror here. A Hero in this room may take back any items previously stolen by the Ice Gremlins. In addition, they will also find the magic artefact Talisman of Vigor. The Wizard will recognise it as belonging to his mentor, Archmage Matholem. Matholem must have passed this way with the other adepts of the School of Magic, on their way to Mount Anger to prevent Kyrax's re-awakening.
K - Use the Grin's Crag tile from Kellar's Keep here. From this rocky ledge the Heroes can see a glacier winding around the flank of Mt Anger. Tell the Heroes' that they can see a monstrous shape inside the glacier; a leviathan suspended in the ice, silver, winged, with massive serpentine coils. The beast is almost as large as Mt Anger itself, and can only be the sleeping demon, Kyrax!
L - This is the entrance into Mt Anger. Somebody has already broken the magical seal above the entrance. No doubt it was the mad witch, Ghashlug.
When the Heroes descend into the mountain using the stairway, Quest 8 is complete.

Wandering monster - Ice Gremlin

The Heroes' Tale (continued)...
"Four companions descend down a narrow stairway into the bowels of Mt Anger. At last, you have come to this forbidding cavern at the roof of the world, where long ago a cabal of wizards bound the demon Kyrax beneath rock and ice.
The Elf enters first, creeping like a cat, hair as fine as spider-silt waving in the up-draught, his eyes like distant stars. His shadow on the stairs makes as much noise as he does.
Behind him the Dwarf - with no need of light, his eyes like pools of jet, drinking in the darkness and grinning fiercely as he prepares to walk into the subterranean vaults.
Next comes the Barbarian - warrior of the cold plains, now stripped of his heavy furs and wearing just a loin cloth, more appropriate to the innards of the mountain, revealing a strong sleek torso with muscles like coils of steel.
And finally the Wizard - his once fine robes now hanging in grubby tatters having been shipwrecked, borne through the sky on a magic carpet, scaled a mountain range and fought off all manner of foes. Keenly aware that his own frivolity had caused him to fail his aged master and his fellow adepts, now resolved to make amends and come to their aid. He has sworn to prevent the demon Kyrax's reification, even at the cost of his own life.
You are the fellowship of four; the end of the world beckon's should you fail..."

Notes - This Quest is for all four Heroes. It takes place in the caverns below Mt Anger. The obstacles here were placed by the ancient wizards to discourage anybody wishing to release the demon. The Heroes start at the stairway and must make their way to Kyrax's chamber.  Treasure searches are not permitted in this Quest, as the task is to too urgent for any Hero to stop for loot.

A - The corpses of Grinch & Grivois lie here, apparently slain by the orcs as an offering to Kyrax. The Dwarf will not be able to take revenge on the pair, and the treasure map isn't with their bodies.
B - When the last Hero moves through this door, Grinch & Grivois rise as zombies, ready to attack. It appears that the orc witch can raise the dead, and has placed these here to deter pursuit.
C - A long winding staircase leads down into the earth. Steam comes off the steps as the ice that has encased them for centuries melts. Something seems to have happened far below to make the ice thaw. The stair tiles are interspersed with slippery ice tiles from The Frozen Horror. For each square of Ice tile that a Hero moves through, he must roll a combat die; he slips and loses 1 Body Point on the roll of a black skull.
D - Use the Ice River tiles from The Frozen Horror. They have been formed by the ice melting from above. Each square of the tile counts as 2 for movement purposes. Whenever a Hero enters an Ice River, or begins his turn there, he must roll 1 combat die; on a white shield he loses 1 Body Point.
E - The stalactites are also melting. These cannot be detected or disarmed. The stalactite falls on the  first Hero to walk through one of these squares, and he loses 1 Body Point on the roll of a skull on one combat die.
F - Use a stone doorway as an entrance into the central chamber. The doorway is filled with a huge stone plug of tremendous weight. It can only be shifted with a Genie spell, or by the Barbarian and Dwarf acting in concert with the Dwarf's pickaxe (if he still has it), in which case the pickaxe is destroyed and both Heroes lose 1 Body Point from the sheer strain. In either case, the stone plug will fall back into place afterwards, blocking the route back out of the mountain.
G - It is noticeably hotter after passing through the stone plug. The source of the heat is coming from the lower caverns. Carved above door number 1 are the words "PATH OF TENEBROSITY". Above door 2 is written "PATH OF CONFRICATION", and above door 3 it says "PATH OF SCIOMACHY".
H - Use the Stepping Stone tile here. The steps hang above a pitch black abyss. Each time a Hero wishes to move from one stepping stone to the next he must roll a combat die; if he rolls a white shield he loses his footing, falls, and hangs on by his fingertips to the square he just tried to move from, losing 1 Body Point in the process. If a Hero in the room has a lantern, or the Wizard sacrifices a fire spell here, the Heroe's will only slip and fall on the roll of a black shield on one combat die. Once a Hero is hanging, he can only be pulled back up by another Hero standing on an adjacent or diagonally adjacent square (using one action). On each of his turns when a Hero is hanging but is not rescued, that Hero loses another Body Point due to the strain of trying to hang on.. 
I - Use the Wall of Death tile here. At the start of each evil wizard turn, the spiked wall automatically moves one space to the right. Any Hero that is on any square that the Wall of Death moves into is killed, unless there is another empty space that he can jump into (this is a free move of a maximum one square). Once the Wall of Death reaches the right-hand wall, passage through the room will be permanently blocked off.
J - Use Portcullis doors for both doorways in this room. As soon as the first Hero steps through the first portcullis into the room, the bars will fall in both doorways, trapping the Hero in the room. No escape is possible at this time, even Pass through Rock will not penetrate the walls of the room. A material manifestation of that Hero's unconscious then magically materialises in the square marked X. It represents the dark shadow-self of the Hero, and has the same stats as a starting Hero of the that type (The Wizard's shadow will have the spells Ball of Flame, Tempest & Rock Skin, whilst the Elf's shadow will have Twist Wood). If the dark adversary is defeated, both portcullis' will open and the Heroes may continue on their way. However, if the Hero is slain, another Hero will have to pass into the room, become trapped, and have to face his own dark shadow.
K - There is a scene of slaughter here. Archmage Matholem and his adepts all lie slain, with crossbow bolts sticking out of them, after an orc ambush. On closer inspection, Matholem is not quite yet dead, and manages to say a few words with his last breath "...Must stop Kyrax...placed down there for a reason...rock like fire...". Matholem then expires, and no spell or potion may revive him.
L - When this door is opened, place the Crag tile, the open doorway and the Pit of Chaos tile all at the same time. Tell the Heroes that they have come upon an incredible scene; a massive cavern so high they cannot see the ceiling, with a rocky ledge extending down to the cavern floor where a large stone sarcophagus sits beside a boiling pool of lava. The huge chains that once held the sargophagus shut have been broken by the orcs, and the evil essence of Kyrax now begins to slowly ebb out where it will seek to fill it's former monstrous body lying in the glacier on the other side of the cavern wall.
Ghashlug the orc witch stands on the X, and you may place the same number of orcs that survived the battle with the Dwarf at the end of Quest 6 anywhere on the Pit of Chaos tile. Up to 3 of the orcs can be given crossbows.
Ranged weapons and spells can target enemies from the crag to the cavern floor, and vice versa. Passage between the crag and the pit of chaos is only possible through the open door, unless a Hero has a Rope, in which case he can shimmy down, using up his movement and action for the turn.
Ghashlug has these stats - Move 7, Attack 3, Defend 5, Body 5, Mind 7, as well as the Chaos spells Firestorm & Tempest, and the WOM spells Strands of Binding, Orc Berserker & Raise the Dead (zombies will be raised rather than skeletons).
Ghashlug will not use Firestorm until a) she has no spells or minions left, or b) she is reduced to 2 Body Points or less. When she uses this spell it will unintentionally also ignite the lava in the pit; the floor cracks and the sarcophagus will fall in, destroying the essence of Kyrax before it can escape its tomb! ("Rock like fire"). Unfortunately, the cavern begins to collapse as well...

Aftermath - All remaining orcs are slain by falling rock, except for Ghashlug. She pulls out a magical "Journey bag" that can teleport it's owner far away, and jumps in. Before she can fully teleport, the Heroes race over and one of them severs her hand as she attempts to close the bag behind her. The Journey Bag sends its user to a different location every time, and there is no knowing where it might take the Heroes, but they have no choice but to use it. The survivors jump in just as hundreds of tons of molten rock falls on them.
Tell the Heroes that they have teleported far away from Mt Anger. They are on a dark, wet moor, but far away from Norsca judging by the climate. There is no sign of the orc witch. They might not know where they are, but right now they are in no immediate danger, and can take pleasure from the fact that they just saved the entire world from eternal winter...

Wandering monster - Not applicable

Quest 10 - In the Night Season.
Part I, The Lich-way
The Heroes' Tale (continued)...
"After the epic battle under Mt Anger the journey bag brought all of you far to the South, to the edge of the Old World. It took you some time to realise that you were in Knocklor, an Eldritch country beyond Blackfire Pass. It was from this wild wasteland of fells and fens that, in ancient times, the Witch Lord sent his legions against the living. Fortunately he was defeated by Heroes of that bygone era. There are those who say he lives buried at the heart of one of the granite tors that you can see thrusting up from the barren moorland, above the low-lying fog.
Of course, you prefer the warmth of this Inn to the black moonlit landscape outside. As you sup your ale, however, you cannot help noticing how quiet it is in the taproom. It is obvious from your appearance that you would have an interesting story to tell, but the locals just sit in silence staring morosely into their mugs. You will have to buy one of them a drink to get them talking (ONE OF THE HEROES MUST NOW SPEND ONE GOLD COIN TO GET AN OLD FELLA TO TALK TO THEM).
'It's the poor Milkmaid, you see, Perdita. She's been spirited away and there's no doubt she'll have been taken to the old Manse that lies far out on the moor, over the Lich-way. It was once the home of Grim Dugald, as black-hearted a devil as ever wore a man's face, and since his death 30 years ago not a soul has been there and come back to tell of it. Ordinarily, we would ban together and go out to look for her, but this is Samhain Eve, and no-one will go abroad on the moor with all the wild witchery that will be afoot!'
You have been at a loss as to what to do with yourselves after saving the world, but you now have your Quest - go out over the moor to the Manse of Grim Dugald and rescue Perdita the Milkmaid."

Notes - This Quest is for all four Heroes. If one or more of the Heroes didn't survive the previous Quest, make a new starting Hero of that type available now. This adventure is split into two parts; health and spells are NOT recovered between this Quest and the second part (Quest 11).
Quest 10 takes place on a foggy moorland on the haunted night of Samhain Eve. All of the Zombies in this Quest are known as Barrow Dwellers. These undead creatures are supernaturally imbued with power during Samhain, and have the following stats - Move 4, Attack 3, Defend 3, Body 2, Mind 0.

A - This is the taproom of the Knocklor Inn where the Heroes start, before taking the Lichway.
B - This is a pedlar with a hand-cart. He looks scared half-to-death and is keen to get into the Inn, but will stop briefly to sell any of the following wares to the Heroes; Rope 25 gold, Lantern 30 gold, Mongoose Statue 50 gold, Sprig of Garlic 15 gold, Wooden Stake 15 gold, Holy Water 50 gold, Silver Dagger 200 gold, Healing Potion 150 gold (will restore 4BP).
C - This skeleton is the corpse of some criminal, which now hangs by the roadside in an iron gibbet. It seems to be grinning at the Heroes as they pass, but will not attack.
D - As the Heroes approach this intersection, tell them that the fog has grown unusually thick. The first two Heroes to pass through the D get disorientated and must move south. The next two Heroes must move north. The Heroes have now been separated into 2 groups and can only reconvene by following their allotted routes. There is no way they can get around this, even with spells such as pass through rock (remember, the Heroes are in foggy open moorland, not a regular dungeon).
E - These stone doorways lead into long-barrows, ancient tombs carved into the side of the granite tors along the Lich-way. These stone doorways are opened using the normal rules for these doors, but they don't fall back into place; once opened, they should be replaced with normal open doors. The corridors inside a long-barrow are extremely narrow; figures may not pass through others whilst they are inside.
F - The Heroes encounter a pack of three headless hounds, undead creatures which bray hideously from gaping holes in their necks. Stats - Move 9, Attack 4, Defend 2, Body 1, Mind 0.
G - The first Hero to search the tomb for treasure finds the artefact Cursed Sword. He must take that artefact card.
H - The chest in this long-barrow contains 100 gold coins and a Genie in a Bottle (same as a spell scroll for the Genie spell).
I - Use the quicksand tile from Mage of the Mirror here, representing a large bog. A small magical creature known as a Spriggan sits by a campfire (X). The Heroes get the odd feeling that all of the fog is coming out of the Spriggan's fire. On entering the room, or even standing outside the door, a magical fugue immediately descends on the Hero; he must sit down by the Spriggan. He can do nothing at all until he breaks out of the fugue; at the start of each of his subsequent turns he must roll the same number of combat dice as he has Mind Points to see what happens;
0 skull = at the Spriggan's command, the Hero moves out into the bog and begins to sink in the quicksand. If he is not saved by the start of his next turn, he sinks in the mire and dies.
1 skull = The Hero remains in his stupor for now.
2 or more skulls = the Hero breaks out of the fugue and grabs the Spriggan by its hair. It wriggles and bites, but ultimately has to obey the Hero. It will not only guide the Hero safely across the quicksand to the other side, but will also help pull out any Hero already sinking in the quicksand. Once on the other side and the Hero/Heroes are safe, the Spriggan will run off into the fog (take it off the board).
J - Use the battle tile from Against the Ogre Horde here, representing the courtyard of a ruined castle. Two ghost knights stand upon the X's, duelling with each other. They are the ghosts of Sir Oben & Sir Herab, who were defeated by the Witch Lord centuries ago, and they have been fighting each other ever since, each still blaming the other for not supporting their attack. They will never leave this room, but will however team up to fight any intruders - Move 4, Attack 4, Defend 4, Body N/A, Mind 1. They cannot be killed conventionally. Instead of attacking, a Hero may attempt to convince the ghosts that they are dead, and to stop fighting; the Hero rolls 2 red dice and if he rolls the same as or lower than his Mind Point total, the ghosts depart for ever. The Heroes may leave the room through any of the 3 doors at any time, but cannot search it until the ghosts have departed.
K - There is a suit of Plate Armour on the weapon rack.
L - The Heroes have almost reached the Manse of Grim Dugald. There is a deep moat with an unusual bridge spanning over to the gatehouse; thick squares of pale marble hover magically in the air without support.  Each time a Hero wishes to move from one stepping stone to the next he must roll a combat die; if he rolls a white shield he loses his footing, falls, and hangs on by his fingertips to the square he just tried to move from, losing 1 Body Point in the process. Once a Hero is hanging, he can only be pulled back up by another Hero standing on an adjacent or diagonally adjacent square (using one action). On each of his turns when a Hero is hanging but is not rescued, that Hero loses another Body Point due to the strain of trying to hang on. 
M - Tell the Heroes that this 'room' is a descent into a dry moat surrounding the Manse of Grim Dugald. The outer wall of the Manse rises up where the north wall of the room is; the secret door is an old sally port in this wall - it can be found by searching, but cannot be opened from this side, unless a Genie is used (It can be opened as normal from the other side, and the wall may also be traversed using pass though rock. The X' represent four Banshees, undead spirits with the following stats - Move 6, Attack 3, Defend 3, Body 2, Mind 0. They also 'scream' continuously throughout the battle - before a Hero takes a turn he must roll 1 red die and roll less than his Mind Points, or can do nothing that turn (they may still defend as normal).
N - These stone steps lead up to the Manse of Grim Dugald. Proceed to part II (Quest 11).

Wandering monster - Zombie (Barrow Dweller)

Quest 11 - In the Night Season.
Part II, The Manse of Grim Dugald
The Heroes' Tale (continued)...
"At last you have arrived at the deserted Manse of the infamous Grim Dugald. It seems you have already had as harrowing a night as any you can remember in crossing the bleak moor; but your perils are far from over yet. You look at the darkened Manse with it's high gables, gaping window-sockets and shroud of ivy - and the feeling of foreboding makes you shudder to your core.
Still, you will not make thing's any better by hanging around out here; you may as well get things over with. If only you knew what the 'things' in question were..."

Notes - This Quest is for all Heroes that survived the previous Quest, part I. Remember, health and spells are not recovered before part II. The adventure is completed if the Heroes manage to rescue Perdita the Milkmaid, and then leave the Manse from the same way that they enter.

A - Use two of the small stair tiles from Kellar's Keep here, to represent a double-wide staircase. Tell the player that paintings of the Dugald ancestors line the walls, and the staircase itself looks very old and dangerous. Whenever a Hero enters one of the stair squares he must roll one combat die; on a white shield he loses one Body Point as the masonry crumbles underfoot.
B - This is a writing desk. If a player searches it for treasure he will find the "journal of Dugald of Knocklor". There is one entry made every year in the journal, always dated to Samhain Eve (this very night), and it records decades of acts of shuddering depravity. Strangely, all of the entries dated from 30 years up to the present are written backwards as if seen by a mirror, whereas the journal dates before 30 years ago are written normally.

C - Use the mirror from Mage of the Mirror here, showing the black side. If the Scrying Glass is used here, say that the mirror appears to be full of extremely malicious magical energy. If a Hero searches the mirror, the face of a demon will materialise in the glass. The Demon will then squint at the Hero and say "You aren't my Master. No Luck for you today". The Hero is then instantly teleported to room D. The only way to rescue Heroes trapped in room D is to hold the portrait of Grim Dugald (from room E) in front of the mirror. This will fool the demon into thinking that its Master is present, and he will return any Hero or Heroes previously teleported to room D. In addition, the fooled demon will grant one of the following requests; i) replenish all spells to everyone in the room, or ii) restore all Heroes in the room to full health.

D - This room is actually a prison cube in a parallel dimension. There is no escape from the cube, other than the Hero's companions managing to summon him back from this dimension (see note C). However, if the Hero searches for treasure whilst he is waiting to be rescued, he will find the magic artefact Wraithweaver.

E - There are many more paintings of Dugald ancestors hanging on the walls. If a Hero searches the fireplace they will find a hideous framed portrait of Grim Dugald himself. Tell the Hero that he can take the painting if he wishes (record it as an item on his Character sheet).

F - This spiral staircase leads down to door that will open up to the basement level of the Manse.

G - This is a wine cellar. If a Hero drinks the wine he will get drunk and lose 1 attack and defence die for the rest of the quest (minimum of 1 die).

H - Use the Coast tile here; it represents an underground lake in a large cavern beneath the Manse. Place a trapdoor tile on the other side of the lake, representing a small pier jutting out over the water. The Heroes should take the boat across as a group (they can all fit inside). When they reach the pier, they will be attacked by Giant Bats; everyone in the boat is attacked once with 3 combat dice, before the bats depart. The boat will then slowly sink - everyone can disembark safely before it does so, but the group will not be able to return the same way.

I - This door is locked and can only be opened with a bronze key.

J - This is a shrine holding a huge vat of blood. If it is searched for treasure the Heroes will find a bronze key, but as soon as it is picked up both doors labelled K are opened and the inhabitants activated. The Heroes should also be given a chance to 'purify' the shrine - they can place any items in the blood, (Holy Water, Garlic etc) but don't tell them yet if the treatment has been successful or not.

K - Theses are 'Undead Brides', with the following stats - Move 6, Attack 4, Defend 4, Body 2, Mind 0. They are 'almost' Vampires; the sword Wraithweaver will be affective against them, but garlic, Holy Water and Silver Daggers will not.

L - This is Perdita, the Milkmaid. She says she was taken by Dugald whilst walking on the moors. She will now accompany the Heroes as they attempt to escape the Manse (use the Millandriel tile from Mage of the Mirror). Monsters will not attack her, preferring to attack the Heroes instead.

M - This is Grim Dugald, a vampire - Move 9, Attack 5, Defend 5, Body 10, Mind 5. If the vat of blood (J) was purified with garlic and/or holy water, then Dugald will have been weakened and starts the battle with 5 Body Points instead of 10. These items will have no effect on Dugald if they are used directly on him, however. If Dugald is slain, on Morcar's next turn tell the Heroes that he shows signs of regenerating back to life! He must be finished off with either a Silver Dagger or Wraithweaver through the heart (Dugald cannot defend whilst he is regenerating), or he will return to life with 5 Body Points on Morcar's following turn. This horrific process will continue until Dugald is finished off with either a Silver Dagger or Wraithweaver .

N - This secret door can only be found from this side. Once opened, the bookcase on the other side of the wall will slide up one space, allowing passage.

0 - There is a poison needle trap on the chest, which causes 2 Body Points of damage if the Hero does not first search for traps. It contains 1000 gold coins. If Perdita is with the Hero group she will caution them to only take half the gold, as taking any more will bring down a curse. If her advice is not heeded, the entire contents of the chest turn to leaves on leaving the Manse.

Wandering monster - Tell the Hero that they get the feeling that they are being watched from the walls, but can see no monster.

Epilogue - The Tyrant's Tomb
The Heroes' Tale ends
"The fellowship of four has parted company, leaving you free to pursue your own inclinations. Despite your many adventures and victories, there is something that still gnaws away at you; you never did get to lay your eyes on the great riches that lie in the tomb of Chungor Chan. The hideous Orc Witch, Ghashlug, stole the treasure map, along with any chance you had to locate the tomb. Almost as bad, the Witch managed to escape from the battle beneath Mt Anger. The way forward then dawned on you; to kill two birds with one stone by hunting down the Witch to exact justice and, if she still has the map, use it to find your fortune.
It took you many months to find where Ghashlug has been hiding since her defeat, a squalid cave deep in Troll Country. After the wounds she sustained, you can only hope that she will be less hot to handle than in previous encounters.
The hoard of Chungor Chan would be the ultimate prize for a treasure hunter such as yourself. Chungor Chan was said to be the most direful despot ever to inflict his rule on the lands of men. His Empire stretched further than any before or since. As his power and cruelty grew, so did his wealth. When he finally met his demise, his servants carried his body to the far northern edge of the world, and buried it in a secret tomb set inside a pyramid of ice, along with treasures greater than all the lost hoards that lie in the ocean depths. Your palms start to sweat just thinking about all that loot!"

Notes - This Quest is for any ONE Hero that the Hero player chooses to use. It makes sense for it to be the Dwarf, but it doesn't have to be as the other Heroes know all about the treasure after spending time with him. The Hero may use any items and artefacts he has found so far, and before this Quest begins he may spend any gold he has accumulated on equipment from the standard equipment card deck. He may also buy any of the following items from the market place for his grave-robbing attempt; Rope 25 gold, Lantern 30 gold, Shovel 50 gold, Mongoose Statue 50 gold, Wooden Stake 15 gold, Holy Water 50 gold, Silver Dagger 200 gold, Healing Potion 150 gold (will restore 4BP).

[b]A[/b] - This door bears Ghashlug's personal symbol (four serpents intertwining to form an eight-pointed star). However, the door is locked and can only be opened with a Bone key (even a [i]Genie[/i] spell won't open it).

[b]B[/b] - A Troll stands on the X. It has these stats - Move 8, Attack 4, Defend 4, Body 3, Mind 2, and is immune to all spells. The chest contains a Bone key that will open door A.

[b]C[/b]- Ghashlug the Orc Witch stands in front of the fireplace. Some of the fire has left her since her defeat in Kyrax's tomb, and of course she has lost, but she still looks dangerous and cackles at the Hero as he enters. Her voice sounds like something slithering in the recesses of a cavern, and her breath leaves a festering miasma in the air in front of a face covered in tiny toadstools and warts. Stats - Move 7, Attack 2, Defend 4, Body 3, Mind 5, and has the Chaos spell [i]Firestorm[/i], and the WOM spell [i]Strands of Binding[/i].

[b]D[/b] - The treasure chest contains a Potion of Healing (4BP) but is armed with a spear trap. There is also a spear trap on the cupboard, which will also inflict 1BP of damage if it is not disarmed. Inside the cupboard the Hero will find a threadbare Journey Bag, much like the one the Heroes used to escape from My Anger. Inside the bag is the treasure map! The Hero may travel to the location of the tomb marked on the map, simply by climbing into the Journey Bag. The Hero is immediately moved to the teleportation symbol in room E.

[b]E[/b] - Use the Snow Cavern tile here. The Hero finds himself in a snowy wilderness beneath a glacier. The tracks in the snow were probably made by Ghashlug as she travelled to and fro using her Journey bag. Unfortunately the Bag gave out after the Hero's journey and now lies in useless pieces in the snow. He is obviously in the far north but there is no sign at all of the ice pyramid. Could it be that he is now stranded here?

[b]F[/b] - Use an Iron door here, to show the entrance to the Pyramid tomb. The pyramid itself has been covered up by the glacier, which is why the Hero couldn't see it until now. The tunnel beyond the door is packed deep with ice and will need to be cleared using a pickaxe or shovel to clear it, or by sacrificing any one fire spell. If the Hero does not have any of these options open to him, he will need to use a weapon to hack at the ice; he will lose 1 Body Point from the effort and the weapon will break upon clearing the last square of ice.

[b]G[/b] - This is an altar to the Snake goddess. Large stone tablets set in the altar depict vanquished lords being disembowelled on her altar or images of blood-drenched conquest, with Chungor Chan in his chariot at the head of a vast army. Tell the Hero that the tablets can be removed, but they are too heavy to bring back to civilisation and are therefore worthless.

[b]H[/b] - Use a stone doorway here. Tell the Hero that it is carved in the likeness of Chungor Chan and two large metal dishes hang from chains connected to the door. The door is extremely heavy and can't be opened by normal means. If the Hero places the stone tablets from room G on to the metal dishes, the stone door will lift up high enough for the Hero to duck under. A [i]Genie[/i] could be used, but the door will then fall back into place behind the Hero as he moves through it. [i]Pass Through Rock[/i] will also allow passage, but the way back will also be blocked. The only other way to get past the door is to smash through it using brute force, using a Hammer, a Pickaxe or a Toolkit. If either of these three items are used, the Hero will lose 1 Body Point from exhaustion and the item will be destroyed, but the door will be permanently opened.

[b]I[/b] - The Hero has now reached the inner temple of the pyramid, which is unnaturally dark. This corridor cannot be searched for traps or secret doors unless a lantern is used. A fire spell will also light up the darkness. If neither of these methods are available, the Hero will automatically fall into any pit of darkness tile that he moves into.

[b]J[/b] - There is more light in the rooms either side of the door marked J, as the glacier has partially broken through the roof. The ingress of the ice over the centuries has warped the archway above the door, leaving this section of the pyramid likely to collapse. If the Hero searches for traps in this room, tell him that the doorway is weak but by passing through carefully he will avoid danger, but any pressure at all on the archway will lead to collapse.[b]The falling block traps either side of the door will only be triggered, on Morcars' next turn, if the Hero walks through this weakened door without first searching the room for traps[/b].

[b]K[/b] - Use the Frozen Horror chamber tile here. The tomb of Chungor Chan, the tyrant of a bygone age, has gold and gems piled high up around it. A black snake lies coiled up inside the ribcage of the skeleton lying atop the tomb. The snake is filled with the soul of the dead Tyrant and is waiting to be reborn in the body of a man (or Elf, or Dwarf!). The snake opens its eyes as the Hero enters and begins to speak. "The Snake goddess promised I would be reborn in a thousand years, as this serpent grew in my mouldering body. When the seal of the tomb was broken, she said I would eat the intruders soul, then go forth once more to impose my will on the world of men. Now rivers of blood will flow to fill the altar-cups of my goddess. I will make each day a monument of hatred. The wars of your era will seem as the tantrum's of children beside the carnage I shall wreak..."
The black snake is nearly immortal and cannot be harmed by weapons or spells (all attacks bounce off its magical scales). Allow the Hero to waste an attack before hinting at this. However, if the Hero has a [i]Mongoose statue [/i]in his possession and he thinks to use it, it will summon a mongoose familiar that can fight the snake (see below). The snake itself cannot attack but will instead cast two spells. On Morcar's first turn it will summon a Draugr (see note J of Quest 6 for its stats and abilities). If the Hero defeats the Draugr, the snake will then cast a spell to pull the Hero into the Chaos void; the Hero must roll the same as or less than his mind score on one red die or will be dragged into the void and instantly destroyed.
If the Hero survives these spells, he must then attempt to deal with the snake again. If he uses the [i]Mongoose Statue[/i], the familiar will kill the snake and the evil soul inside it, allowing the Hero to loot the room at his leisure. He can take 5,000 gold coins, and if he manages to get back to the snow tile (room E), he can journey south on foot (the Quest pack is complete).
If the Hero doesn't think to use the statue, or doesn't possess one, he will be at an impasse as he cannot harm the serpent and it has in turn used up all its spells. Tell the Hero that he can snatch up no more than 1,000 gold coins and make a run for it (with the snake slowly slithering behind him at 4 squares per turn). If the Hero can get back to room E the Quest is considered complete. If the Hero thinks to collapse the archway above door J (a free action as he passes through the doorway), all the falling block traps will fall on Morcar's next turn. If the black serpent is on the far side of the door, it will be trapped inside it's pyramid tomb forever. If the snake is not trapped here, the Hero may escape with his gold but tell him that he has doomed the world to an age of war and conquest now that Chungor Chan has been set free.

[b]Wandering monster [/b]- in the cave in Troll Country; Orc. In the Tomb of Chungor Chan; Spear Trap

Thursday 27 February 2020

Quest 11 - Castle of Mystery

"Long ago a crazy wizard, Ollar, discovered the entrance to a gold mine. Using his great powers he built a magic castle above the mine to protect it. The castle had many magic portals and was guarded by a host of monsters who were trapped in time. Can you find the entrance? Others have tried, but the castle has thwarted them every time".

I was in two minds about whether to run this Quest or not. I have bad memories of playing this as a kid because we got stuck in the Castle and it became a bit boring trying to roll dice just to get out. Each time a Hero moves through any door, they are randomly teleported to another room in the dungeon based on a dice roll, meaning that the entrance can be very hard to re-find.
On the other hand, a number of people say this is actually their favourite quest because it's just so different, and it separates the Heroes from each other really well.
So I decided to run a modified version. Firstly, I decided to use tiles form the D&D Adventure Boardgame that I had already printed off. As the rooms in the Castle of Mystery are separated off from each other by magic portals and normal movement is prevented, there was no reason to use the standard HQ game board, especially seeing as I had a nice alternative sitting around.
Our set up is shown in the first photo. As you can see, the rooms are much bigger than usual for Heroquest.

Secondly, I tweaked the dice roll so that it would be a little easier to escape from the Castle. A Hero would teleport back to the stairway room on the roll of 2 or 7 on 2D6 (rather than on a roll of 2 or 12 like in the official Quest). One of the few things that has stuck in my head from school is my Maths teacher once telling us that the probability of rolling 7 with two six-sided dice is higher than for any other number!!!
I also made sure that the magic artefact Ring of Return was hidden somewhere in the Castle, as per the US version of this Quest. In a decision that would have a big impact on events, I also decided to add more monsters (and some furniture) to the map. As the rooms were much bigger I felt like they needed to more 'stuff' inside, not realising just how deadly the dungeon was about to become...

The Quest
The four Heroes move off the stairway, finding a long corridor leading to the first door.

Rend the Barbarian finds a Treasure Hoard on his first search. This stroke of luck so early on made me slightly feel better about the storm the players would face for the rest of the Quest.
Another unusual feature of this adventure is that it has no traps or secret doors at all.

Rend was also first to go through the first door, and was surprised to find himself teleported into a room full of undead creatures. With little movement left, and confused by the teleportation, he elects to stay in the doorway and wait for the creatures to attack.

Bretal the Elf jumps through the portal door fearlessly, and ends up in another room of undead monsters. Unlike the Barbarian, he his equipped with a ranged weapon, and manages to destroy one of the skeletons with his crossbow.

Grimgold the Dwarf can't believe his luck as he finds the entrance to Ollars gold mine with his very first teleportation roll!

 Merkai the Wizard isn't so fortunate, chancing upon a horde of goblins. They grin menacingly as they realise that the Wizard is alone, and apparently easy pickings. Unable to retreat back through the portal, Merkai casts the spell Courage on himself, and waits for the sea of green to envelope him...
On Morcar's turn, the forces of evil charge to attack the Heroes. The Barbarian, Elf and Wizard are all wounded by the storm of blades coming at them.

Meanwhile the Dwarf chuckles to himself as he picks up one of the chests, stuffed with the massive sum of 5000 gold coins. The smile disappears as he is informed that whilst he carries the chest he won't be able to attack or defend himself!

 Rend defeats one of the skeleton's and retreats to the other end of the room, his warrior instincts figuring that the slow moving monsters won't be able to easily reach him there. The Elf copies his tactics from the Barbarian and also retreats, wounding the Mummy in his room with his crossbow.

 Grimgold drags his heavy treasure chest through a portal door, only to find two fearsome chaos warriors. He can only defend himself if he drops the chest, but true to the nature of Dwarves he refuses to do so. When the attack comes, the chaos warriors deal a massive 6 hits, leaving Grimgold with just one Body Point. With no healing potions and no friends in sight, he is now in serious trouble...

Meanwhile, the Wizard has slain a number of goblins, aided by Courage and Borin's Armour. But he realised there were just too many to fight alone, so he steps back through the portal. Teleported to a new room with just one chaos warrior, Merkai burns it to death with Ball of Flame. However, with no more monsters in view, his Courage spell is ended.

Grimgold's first moment of fate; after fleeing from the chaos warriors he has teleported into the room with the Barbarian and the undead. The Mummy lurches after his foe the Barbarian, whilst the single skeleton attacks the Dwarf. With only 1 BP left, Grimgold has no choice but to let go of his treasure chest if he is to defend against the attack, and the chest magically disappears back into the depths of the Castle! The skeleton then rolls two skulls, meaning the Dwarf requires two shields just to survive, but he rolls very well to get what he needs.

After tiring of fighting undead (the Mummy he faced kept rolling black shields), Bretal leaps through a portal door and lands amongst the Goblins that the Wizard had been witling down. He casts Rock Skin on himself to try and improve his odds.

Grimgold slays the skeleton whilst the Barbarian takes out the Mummy. Grimgold doesn't know it yet, but whilst he stays in the doorway he remains in mortal danger; the Quest rules state that if a Hero teleports into a room and there is another character in the doorway, that character loses 1 Body Point!

 Out of the frying pan and into the fire? Bretal retreats from the sea of goblins only to find a room with four orcs. A calm shot with his crossbow launches one of the orcs backwards into the fireplace, but there are still three more to contend with.

 Meanwhile, the Wizard is having a great time in the Castle of Mystery. Not only did he find a Ring of Return on the sorcerer's table, guaranteeing his escape back to the stairway at his leisure, on the very next turn he find's the entrance to the Gold Mine and helps himself to another chest of 5000 pieces.

More perilous times for the Heroes; even with his Rock Skin, the Elf suffers from the furious orcish attack and is left with just one body point. Bretal then used up the last healing spell in the group. At this point, as Morcar, I'm beginning to think that I might get a total party kill.

The Barbarian teleports to the other room of undead, whilst the severely wounded Grimgold has no choice but to stay behind. Rend finally brings down the second Mummy, it's incredible run of black shields failing at last.

 The Heroes fortune begins to turn, with Merkai teleporting to the same room as Grimgold. By pure luck, the Dwarf had wandered into the room (out of sheer boredom really, as the room had already been cleared of monsters and searched for treasure & traps), and narrowly avoiding the ignominy of people killed by another Hero landing on top of him! That would have been too funny for words. For me at least.

The Quest then ended rather abruptly. After a rather harrowing experience for the players, Merkai used the Ring of Return to magically move both himself and the Dwarf back to the stairway...

...whilst the Barbarian rolled a seven and also got back to the start room.
That just left the Elf, who cleverly used his last spell Pass through Rock to escape as well.

A this point I informed the Wizard that Ollar's treasure had been fools gold after all, and completely worthless. Needless to say the players were a bit miffed at this, having come so close to death essentially for nothing (the Barbarian's 100 gold from the first room being the only loot plundered, seeing as the Ring of Return was used almost as soon as it was found). I asked them to look on the bright side, as they were one Quest closer to becoming Champions of the Empire, to which the Elf spat out that he was outlawed and could never become a Champion anyway! What could I say to that?!?

Below is a photo of the board at the end of the game. How did it go? Well, the new game-board did look pretty good, and the large rooms may have actually saved Hero lives; although I couldn't resist the temptation to stuff them with more monsters, the extra space allowed the players to retreat out of the way of them at key times. Coupled with the decision to include the Ring of Return and to have the stairway found on a 7 rather than a 12, this all meant that the Heroes survived by the skin of their teeth. They came up with some very clever tactics and I would have disliked to see them wiped out because I made the Quest too hard. In the end the changes I made for to the Quest meant that it was just about balanced. Just.

Friday 21 February 2020

Quest 10 - Race Against Time

"A guide has led you into a dungeon that is rumoured to hold a great secret. He has led you down many dark corridors and finally you find yourself in a room with three doors. Suddebly the guide puts out his torch and in the darkness you hear him laugh; 'Farewell my Heroes', he sneers as he makes his escape. You realise to your horror that it is a trap!
You must escape or perish in this dark forgotten hole".

I did plan to run this quest with the alternative Heroes from Sir Ragnar's band of merry men, but as we're having trouble getting that gaming group together, the regular four Heroes will take on this adventure instead.

And what an adventure it was.

As the Evil wizard player I decided to add a few things to spice up the quest. The original quest is great, but it has no mechanic to make it seem like an actual race against time.
Firstly, I used this opportunity to introduce a deck of 'Evil Wizard cards'; if there are no monsters on the board on the Evil Wizard players turn, he may draw one of these cards and use it later. These cards make life more difficult for the Heroes, encouraging them to get through the dungeon quicker; the more doors they open, the more monsters they are likely to encounter, meaning Morcar will not get to draw any cards. Most of the cards have fairly minimal effects, although there are a few very devilish ones, and the psychological effect on the Hero players is great. I have two versions of this deck and they will be used from now on for every quest .
Secondly, a special rule for this quest only. On each Morcar turn, he rolls one combat die; on the roll of a black shield there is a rumble in the dungeon as the traitorous guide attempts to collapse the exit.
The stair tile was placed next to the board, and every time Morcar was to roll a black shield at the start of his turn, a falling block marker was placed on the tile. These falling blocks would begin to fill up the exit room, and if it was full of these once the Heroes eventually found it, they would be trapped forever...

Here you can see the Heroes stranded in the room with 3 doors. You can see the big stack of Evil Wizard Cards (or Room cards as they are titled in this case). The stair tile also stands by, ready to fill up with rubble.

Mindful of their predicament, the Heroes opened all 3 doors on their first turn, revealing a small army of greenskins! Thankfully for them, the Heroes are feeling beefy after purchasing some equipment after the last Quest. The Barbarian bought a shield, the Dwarf a Helmet, and the Elf Bretal finally managed to get his hands on a crossbow. He was still 5 gold short of the price needed, but the Wizard gave him the cash on the understanding that the Elf would save his arse when the time came. The Wizard himself wears Borin's Armour after the last quest, and bought nothing.

Each of the Heroes kill one adversary on their first turn. However, on Morcar's very first turn I promptly roll a black skull and the stair tile begins to fill up with rubble. The look on the players faces is priceless, as they now know that they are in a real life or death race.

After a lively exchange the Heroes clear the rooms of greenskins, but at some cost; Rend the Barbarian losing five (!!!) Body Points and the Elf losing two. In the frenzied search for a way out of this part of the dungeon that followed, Bretal also lost another wound from an arrow trap. After finding no secret doors in any of the three rooms that held the monsters, the Dwarf finally realises that the secret door was in the first room all along. The Heroes were not impressed that they didn't even need to open any of the three doors in the first place! I have run this quest many times, and nobody ever seems to check the first room for another way out!

 More orcs around the corner. Rend slays one and Bretal skewers the other with his new crossbow. However, after the fiasco earlier when trying to find the secret door, Morcar has managed to draw a number of Evil Wizard cards, ready to use against the party at the right moment.

 Merkai uses Swift Wind to hasten his passage along the south corridor, desperately trying to cover the ground and find a way out.

Rend opens a door and finds a hulking chaos warrior leading some goblin runts...

But that's not all; Morcar uses his first Evil Wizard card - Hallucinations. Rend has disturbed a cluster of magic mushroom spores, and loses one mind point. He only had two to begin with!
As if groggy from the 'shrooms, Rend completely fluffs his attack on the Chaos warrior.  The Elf and Dwarf, however, are unaffected by the spores and each kill a goblin. Merkai the Wizard, sensing that his Barbarian friend is in dire trouble (he could have been killed at this point if the Chaos Warrior rolled well), casts Fire of Wrath on the creature of chaos from a distance, incinerating it.

 Grimgold the Dwarf encounters two grotesque Fimirs.

One of them is furious that he has been disturbed and goes into a Frenzy (courtesy of another Evil Wizard card, allowing it two attacks in the same turn). Grimgold attacks the creature and misses completely, but Merkai comes to the rescue again, this time casting Genie on the frenzied Fimir. The Genie rolls 5 attack dice and rolls 5 skulls, ripping the Fimir to shreads.

Suddenly there is a crescendo of noise as another heap of rubble is collapsed into the dungeon exit and another fallen block marker is added to the stair tile. As the dust settles, Bretal reluctantly decides to use his Heal Body spell on the Barbarian. The players have come to the conclusion that they need the Barbarian, their best fighter, fit and healthy if they are escape this place.

Rather unhelpfully however, the Barbarian finds a stash of gold coins hidden here and there around a fireplace, and misses a turn. The last thing the party needed really.

 Bretal finds two treasure chests in the next room. However, Morcar uses an Evil Wizard card that causes the Elf to slip and fall into a disgusting pile of excrement. From now on no other Hero is permitted to stand immediately next to the foul-smelling Hero. This was a very funny moment, not least because it happened to the haughty, fancy-pants Elf.
The humiliation is forgotten quickly when Bretal finds 100 gold in the first chest.
Merkai continues his scouting mission alone. A risky tactic considering that he has used many of his offensive spells helping the other Heroes. Thankfully he still has a Sleep spell handy to use on this orc. As the Orc slips into unconsciousness, there is another loud rumble as a the guide tips more rocks down the exit stair. Time is running out!

  The Elf seems unconcerned. Whilst the Barbarian and Dwarf backtrack to catch up with Merkai, Bretal lingers to pillage the second treasure chest. Another 100 gold!

A close up of the Unholy Stench card.

Merkai continues his solo expedition, finding a nest of goblins, but can't attack them thanks to another Evil Wizard card - the Hero becomes lost in a powerful vision of his eventual death, cast by Morcar himself). To make matters worse, the treasonous guide collapse more stones down into the stairway. The sound is much closer now, and the Heroes know they are close to the exit, but will it be too late?

 Merkai kills two of the goblins in hand-to-hand combat, losing some Body Points in the process. However, the Sleep spell wears off and the orc gets back to his feet. The last thing it remembered seeing was a skinny human wearing a silly purple costume making weird hand gestures in front of its face, and it now wants some payback.

Grimgold's stumpy little legs have finally caught up with the Wizard. Seeing that Merkai seems to be having no problem with the remaining goblin, the Dwarf opens the other door and finds the exit! There is a lot of rubble in the room, but the stairway is still open!

 Merkai, quite badly wounded, decides to take no chances with his attack on the last Goblin and casts Ball of Flame at it, hoping to simply step over its charred corpse to safety. Incredibly, however, the Goblin rolls two black shields in its defence roll against the spell, and survives. An anguished Wizard now faces a great chance of being killed from the attack of both the Goblin and the Orc. The Goblin takes one Body Point, leaving Merkai with just one more (and no healing potions). The orc then rolls two skulls and the players suck in the breath...Merkai rolls two white shields thanks to Borin's armour, and survives the attack. The vision of his own death that he saw earlier was after all from another time, in another dungeon...

The Heroes kill the last monsters and exit the dungeon. The guide has slinked off into the night and cannot be seen. These are not the kind of Heroes to forget such treachery, however, and they vow to track him down. But that's a story for another day...

That was a great quest. The Evil Wizard cards really added to the game, and the collapsing stairway was a great mechanic too. The Heroes were never in great danger from it, but it felt throughout that they were. Somebody at the Inn came up with that excellent little rule, but I can't remember who. Thanks anyway!