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!

Tuesday, 18 February 2020

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

The original post on this project was getting quite long and I'm not even half way through creating the quest yet, so its a good time to split the topic. Part one can be found here;

Here are some concept drawings for the artefacts found in this quest. Our Italian Heroquest aficionado, Lestodante, is busy creating the cards for the fantastic new artefacts found in the HQ novels, which will feature all new artwork! These are just my drawings, he has an artist friend who will create the final pictures.

Next up is Quest 5, which continues the adventures of the Wizard (and the Elf). I've always wanted to create a quest along the lines of the final quest in the Wizards of Morcar expansion, in which the four evil sorcerers can move around the quest map opening doors and increases the area of the battle. A real battle of magicians, with magical spells flying everywhere on all sides. I hope I've managed to do it here. For sure, it will be an interesting Quest for the Evil Wizard player and give him or her a lot of tactical options.
Quest 5 - The Tower of the Cabiri Lords
The Wizard's Tale (continued)...
"You have climbed the long twisting stairway up from the labyrinth below, and now find yourself back in the Tower of the Cabiri. They will demand the Wand of Galimatias from you, but you must not give it up. These strange sorcerers must be punished for the evils they have committed; the twisted games they made you play down in their labyrinth and the shipwrecking and drowning of the innocent sailors that brought you to this cursed island. You must tread very carefully though. The Cabiri have a fearsome reputation for sorcery and are said to be masters of elemental magic. In Matholem's school of magic you learned many sorcerous tricks to help you survive, but you never completed your full training as a battle-wizard. But that is what you must now become if you are to be victorious in this high tower against the Cabiri Lords of Water, Earth, Air and Fire...".

Notes - This is a Quest for the Wizard and Elf Heroes. If the Wizard encountered the Elf in Quest 3 they will now be working together. If the Elf was not freed in that Quest, the Wizard will meet him in this Quest instead. Either way, the Elf will not have his equipment or spells until he can find his belongings in the Tower. To complete the Quest the Heroes must start at the stairway, destroy all four of the Cabiri and then find some way to escape from their island.
Once the Cabiri Lords are encountered the Evil Wizard player may move them around the board, opening doors & secret doors. Lay out the contents of any rooms which they enter. As an action, the Cabiri are also able to activate magical traps in this quest, as detailed in the Quest notes. This is the only way the magical traps can be triggered.

A - If the Wizard is already working with the Elf, ignore this note. If not, the Elf will be encountered here. The Elf explains that the Cabiri wrecked his ship with their spells and took him captive, He escaped from his cell and now seeks revenge against his captors. The Elf has full Body Points but will not be able to use equipment or spells until he can find his belongings.
B - The Elf's equipment is stored here. He may take any items he had at the end of Quest 1, and select his full complement of Elf spells. There is also a Shield on the weapon rack.
C - The Alchemist's desk contains a potion of healing (4BP) and the magical artefact Scrying Glass. A Hero with this item may search for magic traps at the same time as searching for ordinary traps. The Evil Wizard player must tell the player if there are any magic traps within his line of sight, but they are not disarmed.
D - Use the carpet tile from Mage of the Mirror here. The four Cabiri stand in the positions shown. They may open and move through doors and each have the following stats; Move 6, Attack 1, Defend 2, Body 4, Mind 6. The FIRE CABIRI has the Fire spells, the WATER CABIRI has the Water spells, the AIR CABIRI has the Air spells and the EARTH CABIRI has the Earth spells.
If a search for treasure is made in this room or the Scrying Glass is used here, tell the player that he has found a magic Carpet. If the Cabiri are destroyed, the Carpet will obey the commands of its new master, and fly through a window in the ceiling, speeding the Heroes on their way north, and ending the Quest.
E - If the Cabiri Lord of Air has line of sight to the X symbol he may trigger the Hurricane trap as an action. He may do this once per turn, with the hurricane moving down any ONE of the 3 corridors at the Air Lord's command, forcing any figures back 8 spaces until they hit a wall or fall in a pit.
F - From anywhere on the board, the Cabiri Lord of Water may choose to fill all of these pit of darkness traps with water. As water rushes into the pits, a Hero inside must immediately discard one piece of equipment, or all of his gold, or will sink and drown. If the Hero does this, or if he has no gold or equipment, he may climb out without harm on his next turn as usual.
G - The Cabiri Lord of Water may as an action use the Sorcerer's table to create a Wall of Ice anywhere in the room. See Strom Master spell for details of the Wall of Ice.
H - From anywhere on the board, the Cabiri Lord of Fire may as an action trigger any ONE of these Fireburst traps.
I - The Cabiri Lord of Fire may as an action draw power from the Fireplace to create a Wall of Flame anywhere in the room. See High Mage spell for details of the Wall of Flame.
J - From anywhere on the board, the Cabiri Lord of Earth may call forth a large boulder from a nearby pile of rocks. Use the Boulder tile from Kellar's Keep. It starts rolling from the J symbol towards the other end of the corridor, using 2 dice to move on each Evil Wizard player's turn. If it rolls over a figure they are attacked with 3 combat dice, from which they may not defend.
K - The Cabiri Lord of Earth may as an action take a spell scroll from the Bookcase. He may take the Spell of Protection Wall of Stone and use it on a subsequent turn.
L - The chest contains 80 gold coins and a Staff (the Wizard may take that equipment card).

Wandering monster - Goblin

The Dwarf's Tale (continued)...
"Glad to leave Runeport behind you, you travelled north on foot through territory that became increasingly cold and barren. Green vegetation soon gave way to stunted pines and icy crags, and now carrion birds wheel overhead. You have been tracking the detestable pair, Grinch & Grivois, burning with a fury that only a Dwarf can feel. Without the map that they took from you there can be no way to find the treasure of Chungor Chan, but in truth taking revenge for their treachery would taste even sweeter than the gold itself.
This remote region is the dwelling place only of warring orc and goblin tribes, plus an old sorcerous hermit named Magister Caenwulf. Caenwulf is known to be very knowledgeable about the region and it is even said that he can read a traveller's future, but he is also famously prickly and capricious. You should only approach his tower as a last resort, should the trail grow cold and you become desperate for his advice".

Notes - This is a solo Quest for the Dwarf Hero. It takes place in the craggy countryside north of Runeport, and ends in the icy northlands.

A - Use the outdoor tile from Against the Ogre Horde here. Three goblin archers are lying in wait for prey, hidden at the streamline. If the Dwarf searches for traps on his first turn, he will smell an ambush and get the jump on the goblins before they can attack; place the Goblins on the X's and tell the Dwarf that he may immediately take another turn. If the Dwarf doesn't search for traps, you may place the goblin archers and attack with them on Morcar's first turn.
B - Tell the Dwarf that he can see the thieves Grinch & Grivois in the distance, stood on the B symbol. On Morcar's turn they will flee around the corner towards door C. They become out-of-sight of the Dwarf and are removed from the game-board for now.
C - An inscription above the stone doorway reads "The Tower of Magister Caenwulf. GO AWAY!". There is no sign of Grinch & Grivois but the ground around the stone door looks as if it has been disturbed recently.
D - There is a Potion of Healing (up to 6 BP) and a Potion of Strength on the table in this craggy goblin lair.
E - The stairs lead up to the tower of Magister Caenwulf, and Caenwulf himself stands on the X. As the Dwarf greets him the old man growls "Go away". As the Dwarf continues with his request for help, Caenwulf transforms into a werewolf and attacks - Move 8, Attack 5, Defend 3, Body 4, Mind 4. However, as soon as the werewolf takes any damage at all, it transforms back into Magister Caenwulf, who then says to the Dwarf that he has passed the test and beckons him inside the tower. Both characters move into room F.
F - Use the carpet tile from Mage of the Mirror here. The Dwarf says that he is looking for two thieves who have taken his treasure map. Caenwulf's offers him a seat in the chair, which the Dwarf must accept. As soon as the Dwarf sits down, wooden hands sprout out of it and hold him fast. Caenwulf then explains he can read the future and that Grinch & Grivois will never live to see the treasure of Chungor Chan...but neither will the Dwarf either. He then offers the Dwarf a deal; to receive a great prize, without knowing Caenwulf's price until after he has agreed to the deal. If the Dwarf doesn't agree to the deal, the chair tips back and the Dwarf is thrown into the teleport trap; move him immediately to room H. If the Dwarf does agree, Caenwulf will give him the magic artefact Skullcleaver, then bid him to leave in peace via the other door. As the Dwarf leaves he can see that Caenwulf looks younger whilst he (the Dwarf) feels older. He has lost some years of his life and permanently loses 1 from all movement rolls!
G - Use the Snow Blizzard tile form Revenge of the Weather Man here. Snow has fallen and the Dwarf can see strange footprints here; the size of the footprints changes drastically from one step to the next, as if the creature which made them changed in size as it moved along. The secret door here cannot be opened from this side as it is too well hidden in the snow drifts.
H - The Dwarf has been teleported to the very top of Mount Kringla! Use the Ice Vault tile from The Frozen Horror here. If the Dwarf doesn't have Warm Furs he will lose 2 BP on each turn he is in the room. He will have to find a way off the mountain.
I - Use the Ice Chasm tile from The Frozen Horror here. It can be jumped as a pit but if the Dwarf falls in he is killed. If he has a rope he may cross the chasm without harm, but the rope is then lost.
J - An undead creature known as a Draugr stands upon the X. Use a Zombie model but tell the Dwarf that it grows in size as he sets eyes on it. Stats - Move 4, Attack 5, Defend 4, Body 4, Mind 0. However, after 3 turns the Draugr shrinks again and has the same stats as a regular zombie, apart from its current Body Point total which it retains. If the Draugr is still alive in another 3 turns, it will change back to the increased size and stats again!
K - The Ice Slide (from The Frozen Horror) cannot be detected. When the Dwarf steps on the start of the slide he tumbles down it into room M. He suffers no damage, but cannot climb back up the slide.
L - The tomb contains a Potion of Healing (4BP) and Heroic Brew.
M - Use the Snow Cave Entrance tile from The Frozen Horror here. The party of 12 orcs and 2 Rime-wolves is led by an Orc Witch, stood on the X, who already has Grinch & Grivois tied in chains (the thieves have been badly beaten up). The Orcs are busy chanting the name of Kyrax in an off-key cacophony, and don't notice the Dwarf at first, allowing him the first move/attack. The Rime-wolves have these stats - Move 9, Attack 4, Defend 2, Body 2, Mind 1. The orc witch, who is named Ghashlug, will not attack as she will let her acolytes do all the fighting. When the Dwarf loses his last Body point, he is not killed, but rather captured. The Quest is now over, but keep a record of how many Orcs/Wolves the Dwarf killed before he was captured.

Wandering monster - Goblin

Quest 7 - A Growl of Thunder
The Barbarian's Tale (continued)...
"After your adventures on the Sea of Claws, you journeyed north across many leagues of wild heath and tangled pine forest to reach your homeland of Valringia. Upon reaching your tribal heartlands, which you have not seen for years, you are alarmed by a smell of wood-smoke in the cold air. Hurrying over the next bluff, your worst fears are confirmed: the great stave-hall of your people is engulfed in flames!
You race to the hall and help your clan-cousins drag survivors out of the burning wreckage. Old Thidrand, your father's steward, stands coughing. He is blackened in soot and his face is raw with burns, but he is trying to get back into the burning hall. 'The lord is still in there!' he wails.
You dive through the doors without hesitation and battle through the heat and smoke until you catch sight of your father, Lord Thunrir. He is pinned by a smoldering timber beam that has fallen across his legs. With every ounce of strength, you heft the beam up and drag him clear. Straight away you can see that he is not long for this world. Gazing up at you with stern eyes, he says, 'It was the orcs of Stalag Tor. They attacked without warning, having used fell sorcery to blind our sentries. You must avenge our people - and more than that, you must recover the three sacred treasures of the Thunder God which the orcs have stolen!'
Those are his last words in this world. You waste no time on lamentation. Leaving the women and the wounded to bury the dead, you tak up your weapons and set out across the moors to the ancient mound where the orcs have their lair. Soon you see it looming ahead. The wind whips your cloak behind you, making you look like an avenging demon in the blood-drenched sunset.
You stride towards the mound...

Notes - This is a solo Quest for the Barbarian Hero. To complete the Quest he must retrieve all three scared treasures of the Thunder God that were stolen by the orcs, which are now hidden in their mound.

A - In the south side of the mound is the door that leads into the orcs lair. the Rime-wolves in this Quest have the following stats - Move 9, Attack 4, Defend 2, Body 2, Mind 1.
B - As the Barbarian approaches the door he will hear the guttural speech of orcs from the other side, answered by a deep voice which rings with a an eerie metallic echo.
C - The chest here contains a magical belt with a buckle in the shape of a thunderbolt. This is the first of the three treasures of the Thunder God and the Barbarian should take the artefact card Thunder Gods Belt.
D - These three goblins are part of the retinue of Balog, the orc chieftain, and have been told to wait here to guard weapons rack, which contains the second of the stolen treasures, the Thunder Gods Gloves.
E - This stone doorway leads to the central chamber of the mound, which was originally the burial mound of an ancient orc warlord. The orcs know better than to enter this chamber, since the act of opening the stone door will awaken the corpse inside the tomb as an undead wight (use a mummy figure). Once awake, the orc mummy will stalk through the mound attacking anyone who gets in his path; friend or foe! Stats - Move 4, Attack 4, Defend 4, Body 4, Mind 0.
F - This is where the orcs sleep, and these four are slumbering contentedly having just returned from torching the stave-hall of the Barbarian's tribe. Each needs to roll a 6 at the start of their turn to wake up, or will wake up instantly if attacked. Their clothing still smells of smoke and their is dried human blood on their axes, so the barbarian should be in no doubt what they've been up to.
G - These chambers belong to the shaman of Stalag Tor, an orc witch named Ghashlug, and the door bears her personal symbol: four serpents intertwining to form an eight-pointed star.
H - These four orcs are savagely beating a chained Dwarf. If the orcs are defeated, the Barbarian can release the Dwarf, who is none other than the Hero who was captured in the previous Quest. The Dwarf can collect all of his equipment and other items from a pile in the corner of the room, but he only has 4BP left after his beating. He will join with the Barbarian, after telling him about his recent experiences; as far as he can glean from listening to the primitive speech of the orcs, he was dragged here as an offering to the orc chieftain, Balog, whereas his former colleagues Grinch and Grivois were hauled north to be sacrificed to someone or something named Kyrax. The true leader of the orcs, a fanatical witch named Ghashlug, has marched north with her acolytes for this very purpose.
I - Balog, the orc chieftain, stands on the X, deep in thought; on the table in front of him is Thor's Hammer, the third of the stolen treasures. But he has a problem: no one has been able to move the hammer since it was brought back here. What the orcs haven't realised yet is that only someone wearing the Thunder God's Gloves can lift the hammer. If the Barbarian has these, he will be able to snatch up the hammer and use it himself. As soon as he does this, sparks of lightning shoot from the hammer to smite the orcs, killing them instantly. Balog, though, is made of sterner stuff: Move 7, Attack 5, Defend 4, Body 4, Mind 4.

The Quest is over once the Barbarian has retrieved all three treasures. He can keep these artefacts, as these Heroes now march north to hunt down the orc witch and the remaining orcs. The Barbarian still hungers for revenge, as does the Dwarf (there is also the small matter of regaining the treasure map).

Wandering monster - Orc