Tilea Campaign, Part 9

Holy Blessings Upon this Weapon. May it Serve Morr’s Purpose.
First Prequel to the Assault on Viadaza Battle Report 

The city of Remas, Late Spring 2402

Part 39 A 1 Biagino and Party Arrive

As father Biagino and his personal guard walked into the Piazza d’Agezlio, the sky darkened momentarily – nothing more than the shifting of clouds, but to him it was made ominous by his thoughts and concerns. He was here to bless the Reman artillery, an element of the arch-lector’s forces that had not joined in the recent parade, yet one which most soldiers believed was in particular need of prayers – to function not only well but safely. Biagino himself knew the importance of guns, having witnessed at Pontremola how the foe would fall to blades only to rise again, knitted back together by wicked magics, while those blasted apart by iron shot took considerably longer to re-animate – their splintered bones scattered widely, their shivered arms and armour beyond necromantic repair.

Most Remans would agree with him and so much hope was pinned on the artillery in the coming battle, not just Da Leoni’s marvelously fashioned steam bastion, but also these brass-barreled pieces. Together they promised a most modern form of warfare, of a kind that could bring down even massive and monstrous foes on the field of battle from a distance, and which could slay entire files of undead before their stench was even smelled by the soldiers of Remas.


There were three pieces in the square, each attended by veteran gunners and the newly recruited matrosses busy learning their art. They had already fired this morning – Biagino had heard the latest blast from several streets away – using only powder and wadding, and although the smoke from the volley had been cleared away by the fresh breeze, the smell of brimstone lingered. After battle, the crews would no doubt reek of the stuff, as if their pockets were packed with rotten eggs; and their new clothes, brightly coloured in the Reman livery of orange, blue and red, would be blackened and singed.

Part 39 A 2 Biagino and Party Arrive Closer

The drummer by Biagino’s side had announced their arrival in the square with a pretty peel and now the master gunner strode over to greet them. By the look of him – his heavy black beard, his stern expression – the fellow was a veteran.


Of course, he had to be, as the arch-lector’s clerks would not have hired him if he had failed to present adequate proof of his expertise. Considering the nature of mercenaries, Biagino wondered just what cruel acts this man might have perpetrated over the years, potentially a veritable torrent of murderous robberies and assaults. Let us hope, he thought, this fellow can put all that behind him in his present service.


Indeed, the arch-lector had promised each and every crusading soldier that Morr would forgive them all their sins and open the gates of his eternal garden to them if they served well. It was an absolution that would cleanse any man of a long litany of crimes.


“Good morrow, father,” said the gunner. “Come to chant a prayer or two over our new-born pieces? If you please, make them powerful prayers, for I’ve seen what happens when a barrel bursts, and it ain’t a pretty sight.”


“You doubt our gunsmith’s skills then?” said Biagino, trying to match the man’s banter.

“No, good priest, brass is better than iron I reckon, and I’m sure this brass is flawless and pure, like the church itself …” (someone in square suppressed a snigger) … “but I intend to work them hard, to make these barrels hotter than hot. Best mix in some cooling charms too if you can.”

“I am no hedge wizard dealing in petty cantrips, but a priest of Morr, channelling his divine will to those who deserve it.”

Part 39 A 9B Biagino & Master Talk, Facing Biagino

The master gunner grinned. “Then you’ve come to the right place, ‘cos we’re all deserving – the arch-lector himself said so.”

Biagino had not expected such irreverence, although perhaps he should have. Suddenly the man looked sombre again, stepped a little closer and spoke a little quieter.


“No disrespect meant, father. Just soldier’s banter for the sake of the boys here. ‘Taint an easy thing to go up against what we face. There’ll be no surrenders when the slaughter gets too much, nor parleys to catch our breath. We’re to risk our lives facing death itself, not march about burning fields and robbing cattle. Best then to keep these lads occupied with postures, procedures and puns, takes their mind off tomorrow. A bit of bravado doesn’t go amiss either.”

Biagino understood. Fear was a soldier’s worst enemy when facing the undead. Religious conviction could diminish it, but if not, then perhaps bluster and boasting might indeed quash it almost as well.

“Well and good,” he told the gunner. “I have no doubt you know your business. In this war, however, it is Morr who will guide us to victory, whether we do so laughing or crying. Now, let us go about what must be done.”

Part 39 A 9C Biagino & Master Talk, Facing Biagino Closer

The three of them walked over to the first piece, a mortar. Like the crews, it too sported the city’s livery, with colourful wheels pretty enough for a travelling players’ wagon. Its wide muzzle looked terrifying, but of course would not worry a foe who felt no fear. Although Biagino had never seen a mortar in action, he knew them by reputation. Sometimes called ‘murderers’, they were reckoned to be one of the most dangerous weapons to their own crew, as in order to fire them one had to tip a lighted grenado of massive size down a short barrel already stuffed with powder, with only a wooden bung to separate the burning fuse and the charge. It did not take the expertise of a gunner to recognise how the simplest error, or the tiniest flaw in either barrel, grenade, bung or fuse could tear weapon and crew to pieces. It was no surprise then, thought Biagino, that the master gunner escorted him here first.


Biagino spoke the blessing and sprinkled some holy water from the flagon he carried on the piece, while the crew listened intently as if to gauge the potency of his words. Once done, Biagino asked the gunner,

“You have witnessed one of these at work in battle?”

Part 39 A 11 Mortar Master Describing

“Oh yes, father. A nasty beast should it land a grenade among a body of men. And it can work great terrors against a garrison, lobbing fiery death right over the walls to fall anywhere within. This one is a monster indeed. It’ll need a good 8 horses to shift it.”

Part 39 A 10B Mortar from above

The man seems to know his stuff, thought Biagino.

“I saw the brutes from Campogrotta carrying iron and brass barrels, not that much smaller than your other pieces here,” said Biagino, gesturing to the pair of culverins. “Yet they had no carriages. I scarce believed them to be real guns. Do the brutes really intend to hold them as they fire?”

“They do, but they don’t load with round-shot, merely hail or case. That stuff doesn’t kick quite the same. Ogres might be strong, but not enough to take the 16 lbs of iron this pair fires. I reckon even a 6 lb round-shot’d take their arm right out of its socket.”

Biagino blessed both the culverins too, and the crews manning them. Once he was done he began to bid the soldiers farewell, promising that he would be with the army to help ensure Morr watched over them in their holy fight, but the master gunner interrupted him, gesturing at a man carrying a cask.


“What?” asked Biagino, somewhat confused.

“The powder,” explained the gunner. “You will bless that also, father? Ask Morr to keep it dry and healthy?”

“Yes, yes. Of course,” said Biagino, and for a fourth time commenced his prayers. Considering he had two other piazzas and a yard yet to visit, this was going to be a long day.

Part 39 A 12 Budge Barrel Closer

The Day Before We Met Our Dead
Second Prequel to the Assault on Viadaza Battle Report 

Summer 2402, Two Leagues from Viadaza


As he approached the spot where the arch-lector was about to receive the army’s scouts, Father Biagino attempted to look inconspicuous, as if merely passing by upon some errand. Being a priest of Morr, one of the leaders of the Viadazan crusade no less, no guards thought to stop him. Almost anyone else would have been suspected, and certainly not allowed so close without at least explaining their presence.

The first thing to catch his eye was the formed company of soldiers standing guard, clothed in the blue and red of Remas, with a fluttering, oddly shaped standard bearing one of the arch-lector’s argent keys – a key to Morr’s heavenly garden – before them. Despite the livery and the ensign, however, they were not Remans, nor Tileans, nor even worshippers of Morr. They came from the far, distant and mysterious realm of Cathay, being one of several such mercenary companies in Reman employ for many years now.


He was not alone in thinking Cathayans were somewhat unusual participants in a holy Morrite war. Their role in the state army of Remas was, however, widely understood: ever since the disgrace of the corrupt Arch-Lector Frederigo Ordini during the time of the Tilean Terror, when the secular overlord of Remas took command of the city’s forces to prevent any further folly, the army had been almost wholly composed of foreign mercenaries. This was hardly a novelty in Tilea, as Estalian caballeros, ultramontane halberdiers and Border Princes’ brigand archers were hired by many a city state. All these accepted holy Morr as the god of death, part of the pantheon of lawful gods, and even if their first prayers in battle might be to Myrmidia, Sigmar or even Ulric, it was the blessing of a Morrite priest they sought when mortally wounded. These Cathayans, however, served none of the gods known in Tilea, instead worshipping strange and distant deities, whose very names were unpronounceable. Back during Frederigo Ordini’s fall and the distrust of the church it caused, such foreigners were actively sought, all the better to ensure that a corrupted priest might no more bend them to his will, for it had become painfully clear that even en arch-lector might not be loyal only to Morr but instead driven by worldly greed and a lust for power. And so, the quiet Cathayans’ reassuring, continued presence in the Reman standing army had begun.

Nevertheless, here and now, among a blessed army commanded by priests and half composed of willing volunteers and soldiers supplied by several Tilean powers, the Cathayans did seem out of place. Still, pondered Biagino, considering that only a year ago no-one thought an arch-lector would ever again command the army, their presence was merely one more peculiarity in a world turned upside down by the vampires.


Once he had found somewhere he might watch and listen without being too noticeable, Biagino spotted the dwarfen scouts already making their way through the camp. While they approached, he looked over at the Arch-Lector Calictus II.

Part 39 B 2 The Clergy Closer

Wearing his simple red cloak and unadorned hat, with only a little gold-work upon his brown-belted cassock, it was the arch-lector’s face that drew people’s attention, then held it. Strikingly gaunt, his stern expression reflected both what he expected of himself and of others. His piercing eyes were (at least to those with true faith and insight) visibly illuminated by Morr’s holy blessing .


It dawned on Biagino that here was an answer: Calictus was the reason why Cathayans, ogres, dwarfs and all the rest were marching north together as one. Not his office and the authority granted by it, nor his robes and all the outward dignity of religious nobility, but the man himself. All who looked upon his holiness saw someone they could fully trust. Even if they worshipped other gods and were not particularly interested in seeking Morr’s divine guidance, as, of course, Calictus always strove to do, they knew he spoke only truths and kept his promises. This arch-lector seemed as far from the cunning and conniving character of Ordini as one could get. It was Calictus the man who could command the secular state of Remas and all its forces, then lead them to battle, despite the disastrous and false holy war of only 60 years previously. The passage of time had no doubt played a part in assuaging Reman doubts, and the undead nature of the foe proved the need for decisive action, but it was the man himself – formidable, devout and determined – who had finally tipped the balance.

So it was that several forces were welded into one: men and brutes, foreign mercenaries and city militia, Remans and Pavonans.


From the most able of genius artificiers, Angelo da Leoni, who had brought his marvelous steam engine, to the most crazed of gibbering, flagellating fanatics, raised from the city’s poorest quarters by the raving priest Father Antonello. From the proud nobility of Remas, bedecked in gorgeously fluted, laminated armour from knight’s head to horse’s knee, to the outcast peasant archers of Campogrotta in their mud-flecked, linen rags. All marching side by side beneath the banners of the Reman Church of Morr.

And the dwarfs, of course, who had just that moment arrived before the arch-lector.


They had been sent out, as well as a company Reman bravi, to learn what they could of the now nightmarish city of Viadaza. The bravi had returned with little to report, their faces ashen and limbs trembling, their words a confused tumble of prayers, warnings and whimpers. Biagino had learned at the Battle of Pontremola that men could face the walking dead and fight well, while priests sang litanies to heap blessings upon them, and holy paraphernalia invoked Morr’s protection. But if such things were absent, he knew from his own experience, then the fear engendered by both the sight and stench of the undead could sap all courage leaving an empty, choking pit where one’s guts were supposed to be. Biagino hoped the Dwarfs had not been so affected.

The dwarfs were not alone, having several easterners with them, not more Cathayans but Nipponese sword-masters – masked, bare-footed men with fine steel blades ridiculously rumoured to be sharp enough to slice parchment in two (not in the normal way, but separating front from back to form two equally sized, impossibly thin, sheets).


In any other army, the sight of such dissimilar warriors working together as one body would be the talk of the camp, but in this army perhaps it was only to be expected.

Biagino noticed that one of the dwarfs also wore a scarf to hide his face. Odd, he thought. Maybe the fellow’s beard was too bright a shade of ginger and he didn’t want to reveal the scouts’ position by it? But then why was the white bearded dwarf not similarly wrapped?


Perhaps the dwarf was so impressed by his eastern companions he had taken to dressing like them, an action more gnomish in nature than dwarfen. Or did the fellow have some mutilation to hide, which in the case of a dwarf might be nothing more than an ill-clipped beard? He shook his head to clear it of such babble – it was lack of sleep that made his thoughts stray so easily and wildly.

The dwarf at the front did the talking. He was clothed in chainmail, wore his beard in neat braids, and carried an iron hammer as big as a two-pint pot upon his shoulder. Having bowed to the arch-lector in the abrupt dwarfen manner, he began his report.


“Your Holiness. We have done as you commanded and looked upon the foe. We counted those on the roads and byways, and approached to within half a crossbow’s shot of the walls. The enemy is not as strong as us, but is in no ways weak or ill-prepared.”

Part 39 B 11 Dwarfs Leader

Calictus flexed his fingers.

“Do you mean they have intelligence of our approach or that they are diligent in their  watchfulness?”

Part 39 B 3 The Clergy Close up on Arch Lector

“I cannot say for certain. They’re not the sort of enemy we can capture and question, but I believe they must know we’re close. The city walls are manned in strength both day and night, and they have strong patrols covering a distance of four miles from the gates.”

Biagino wondered whether the limit of the enemy patrols was due to how far their vampiric master’s will could reach.

“The patrols – they are undead?” asked the arch-lector, which Biagino took to mean that he too was weighing the same matter.

“Yes, your holiness. Long dead horsemen; bleached bones devoid of all flesh; hooves a-clattering as loud as living horses. You can hear them coming some way off – what with so much rocky ground, on or off the paths, all around the city. They rode in companies, columns of two, banners at their fore, like soldiers. One lot even had a drummer beating silently at the shredded remnants of mouldy leather atop a pair of copper kettles.”

Part 39 Skel Horse Improved

“Did they see you?” asked the arch-lector.

The dwarf pondered a moment, then turned to look at his company. Some shook their heads a little, others shrugged. “I think not, your holiness. They gave no sign of doing so, nor did they approach us. They didn’t even turn to look our way.”

The officer by arch-lector’s side, a mercenary captain from Astiano whose name  Biagino had yet to learn, suddenly perked up.

Part 39 B 4 Astianan Officer

“Ah, but do the dead need to look in order to see? They don’t require eyeballs, which should surely prove a much more troublesome deficiency compared to failing to turn one’s head.”

Biagino wondered if the captain was related to the noble Duccio family, long famed for their philosophical bent. Perhaps his family desired favour with Astiano’s new rulers, and so he had come along with the Pavonans?

“The undead are not bound by natural laws, but by unnatural ones,” answered the arch-lector, in a matter of fact tone that very much surprised Biagino. It was as if he were lecturing a pupil on a spring morning. “Only in a vampire’s face can one see expression, and even then it is never to be trusted for their very existence is a lie, and what they choose to show the world is rarely the truth. Still … it matters not whether the riders saw these scouts, if Lord Adolfo already knew of our approach.”

Part 39 B 9 Arch talks to dwarfs

The Astianan frowned. “So we cannot surprise them?”

“I doubt it,” said the arch-lector. “But we can attack before Lord Adolfo has any more time to prepare. Before any relief can be sent to him.”

He turned back to the dwarf, “You said you looked upon the walls, that they were manned in strength. Tell me exactly what you saw.”

“There’s not a wall unguarded, your holiness. I looked upon each with my perspective glass. A dozen guards at least upon every stretch – many of ’em skeletons armed with long spears, some armoured too.

Part 39 Skels on Wall Improved

“And on the other walls there were still-rotting undead, perhaps more than the skeletons; and we saw fly-blown ogres guarding the gate …”

That hasn’t changed, thought Biagino. When Lord Adolfo was still mortal both the seaward and landward entrances of his city had always been guarded by brutes. Now he was a vampire, why wouldn’t his brutes be zombies? He had already expected undead ogres in the city, for the fisherman, Carlo, had reported their presence to him. In truth, there was nothing described so far that he had not himself told the arch-lector. He had written lengthy reports concerning both what other witnesses had told him and the the massed horse and foot he had personally witnessed outside Viadaza. Except, of course, and somewhat crucial to the true picture, he could not have claimed knowledge that all these things were still at Viadaza. Until the scouts looked with their own eyes, it was entirely possible that Adolfo’s main strength might already have moved elsewhere.

This made Biagino think of his recent nightmares:

Catching his breath after the victory at Pontremola, the cheers of his battered regiment as the enemy falls back.

Part 36 Dream 1 Biagino & Pike

No-one has the strength to pursue them, but it is not necessary. The enemy is beaten. The vampire Duke is dead. The tide is turned. But then the dream changes and he is hiding with Ugo in the trees east of Viadaza, watching as the Vampire Duchess is welcomed into the city by Adolfo’s hellish army.

Part 39 B 10 Biagino nightmare Skeletons march

Panic wells inside him. There has been no victory. Pontremola was a trick, an illusion. Even as the Viadazan crusaders cheer at the sight of the enemy falling away, in truth the enemy has already passed them by, and the city has fallen. Again, the dream changes and now he is with the Reman holy army, the soldiers shouting their own cheers, for once more the enemy has begun to retreat.

Part 39 B 10 Biagino nightmare Remans

His legs grow weak, his sword slips from his grip, for he knows their retreat is no different from that of Pontremola, yielding a hollow victory. The real enemy is already behind them, even now swarming through yet another town, their rot reaching to infect more of Tilea. For this enemy, to die is to be undead, to be defeated is to be undefeated. His head swims as the macabre dance unwinds about him – attack, feint – rise, fall – win, lose – while his dancing Duchess partner manoeuvres him …

Part 39 B 10 Biagino nightmare Maria

… step by lurching step, ever closer to … to … ?

He jolted from his disturbing reverie, as if waking from the dream itself. The dwarf was still speaking.

“… without need of a gate, for they were weaving freely through the very walls, outside, then inside, now outside again, as if the grey stone were nothing more than mist. Their horses’ hooves barely touched the ground, if at all, and they were lit by green flames as if they had been doused in oil and set ablaze.”

Part 39 Wraith Horse Improved

“Enough, master dwarf,” snapped Calictus. “Let’s not wax so lyrical about such horrors in the camp, shall we? We will face them soon enough, and when we do, it will be with Morr’s blessing as our armour, and Morr’s will as our nerve. Still, it will help if the soldiers have a good night’s sleep tonight. So, as I said, no mention of this again until the battle is won.”

“Indeed, your holiness. ‘A good night’s sleep is the whetstone of success’,” said the Astianan captain, quoting some ancient scholar on the art of war.

A good night’s sleep! thought Biagino. If only.

Note: Click on Skeletons! to see an article on the painting of some of the figures featured in this part.

Death Becomes Them
The Assault on Viadaza

Summer 2402, Viadaza

The ground beyond Viadaza’s grey walls, out to the ancient ruins of a Morrite church by the rocky outcrops two hundred yards away, was empty of all buildings, trees, walls and hedges. All had been cleared to ensure that an approaching army would find no concealment. It was a common tactic, allowing the defenders plenty of time to rain bolts and bullets upon the foe. Viadaza, however, was presently garrisoned by the undead, who rarely attempted to employ missiles of any kind, and so either the clearing had been done before the city turned, or perhaps the intention was to ensure any attackers would spend longer looking fearfully at the foul garrison as they came on.


Both round and square towers studded the walls, and a large, earthen bastion stuck with storm poles had been thrown up before the gate. Even unmanned, the earthwork would make any approach towards the gate considerably more difficult. The Morrite Holy Army, however, had brought artillery, and intended to break down more than the iron bound, timber gate – both the Pavonan and Reman master gunners had promised their heavy shot could, given sufficient time, also bring down the stone walls and towers.

There were three large guns in the army of the living. Two were Reman, placed among their own battalion upon the right and centre of the line. Father Biagino, who had once stood in the front rank of the Viadazan pikemen as they faced the undead in battle at Pontremola, was alone, close to the artillery, very happy this time not to be in the vanguard. To the right of the guns rode the hero of Pontremola, General d’Alessio, leading the brightly armoured and prettily plumed nobility of Remas. Beyond them, upon the flank of the line, jogged a band of skirmishing bravi.


The main marching strength of Remas was to the left of the guns, where the mob of flagellants could barely be kept in line as they moved beside the column of pike and halberdiers. Behind them the carroccio trundled, from which jutted a huge banner bearing the arms of the Morrite church of Remas. Further left was Angelo da Leoni’s massive war contraption, in pride of place at the very centre of the line of battle, its upper deck doors already opened to reveal the multiple muzzles of the helblaster within. Black and sooty steam belched from its long, central funnel, as its gears ground, rattling its frame and jolting the many crew required to operate it. The maestro himself had warned that the engine would be of very little use in an assault upon the walls, but the arch-lector had decided its mere presence would embolden the army, perhaps as much as the holy aura cast by the carroccio.

The left of the crusader’s line was composed of the other two battalions in the allied force: the blue and white liveried Pavonans, and the archers and grey-skinned brutes sent by the wizard Lord Nicolo of Campogrotta. Here, as well as another gun tended by its own engineer, there were handguns, bows, longbows and brute lead-belchers, all massed together and ordered to clear the walls before them of anything that moved.


The young lord, Silvano Gondi, the only horseman in the Pavonan battalion, had chosen not to ride with the Reman nobility and General d’Alessio, despite being invited to do so, for it seemed to him only proper that he should personally command his own men.


His armour was practically identical to that his brother had been entombed in, for it had been fashioned in the same workshop at the same time. And, like his brother, he sported a tall-feathered plume to make it easier for his soldiers to spot him as well as ensuring they would recognise him instantly. He carried his lance couched, giving the impression not of a commander ready to issue orders to this company and that, but of a young knight about to charge headlong into combat. In truth, given even the slightest opportunity, that was exactly what he intended to do, and in so doing hoped to wash away any doubts his somewhat tender age elicited in his men.

The Reman artillery was to the right of the centre, with orders to smash a way through either the gate tower or the walls. Father Biagino had felt compelled to join them, yet it only occurred to him later that this desire was born of the need to prove his premonitory nightmare wrong. In the dream, he had been standing upon this field with a regiment of foot, but now that he was elsewhere, then surely this proved he could thwart his dreams’ predictions, and thus potentially avoid the horrors they had promised?


Behind the Cathayan crossbowmen, between an abandoned smithy and the blue and red-barded draught horses hauling the carroccio, stood the arch-lector of Morr, Calictus II. His only guard was his personal standard bearer, present more to mark him out for his soldiers than to defend his person. He had declared that morning to his officers that the army was his shield and Morr his armour, thus it was a waste of sword-arms to oblige any warriors to linger with him when Morr’s holy work needed doing. In return, General d’Alessio politely suggested, therefore, that the arch-lector should remain at the rear, all the better to pray for Morr’s blessings upon the army, without disturbance or risk of injury. Calictus, wholly aware that his priestly life had in no way equipped him for the bloody press of a melee, did not argue.


‘Fighting’ Father Antonello, however, had a rather different take on things. All thought of prayer and priestly duty had gone from his head as he gave himself up to the same frenzied fury gripping his fanatics. Leading them from the fore, he thus found himself furthest forward in the entire battle line. Not that he was aware, nor that he would care.


(Game Note: We knew characters are not technically allowed to join flagellants, but decided as he had personally raised these men from the streets of Remas, as seen in previous stories, then he should lead them. I ruled, however, that he could cast no prayers while in the grip of his religious frenzy.)

The putrid, mindless servants of the vampire Lord Adolfo swarmed upon the city walls, peering and leering through the crenelated parapets. Gathered on the southern stretches of the wall, where Adolfo also lurked, were undead brutes, slavering ghouls and the animated bones of warriors who had fought and died defending the city hundreds of years before.


Along the northern reaches stood more skeletons, among them a necromancer, while outside the walls lurched a shambling horde of zombies – the corpses of those recently living Viadazans who had failed to flee the city when the undead took possession.


The living could not know where the enemy’s horse soldiers were, as the walls hid them from sight, however those who had learned of the dwarfen scouts’ report, and those officers who had subsequently been warned, knew to expect them at any moment, perhaps bursting through the very walls as the scouts had personally witnessed.

(Game Note: I have photo-edited out the 6 dice placed inside the walls, numbered 1 to 6. In the game they represented the possible positions of the hexwraiths and black knights, which the controlling player had secretly written down. It seemed only fair that if they were both ethereal and hidden behind thick stone walls, the opposing player shouldn’t know where they were!)

The height of the walls and the parapets atop them, concealed most of the defenders – only their spears and helmets, or the tops of their skulls, scalped of both hair and flesh, could be seen. None among the living could fail to see the brutes guarding the gate and the walls about it, however. Their once grey flesh had moldered into a bruised mess of blue, pierced with snapped shards of bone. One ogre’s head had been hewn by a huge cleaver, so deep that even now it remained lodged, while another, atop the highest part of the gate, bore a makeshift chain-flail with threshing heads made of … real heads!


In the main street behind the gate a ghastly chariot rolled along, pulled by two long-dead beasts. It carried a standard fashioned from what could only be a giant’s hand, and was not only piled high with skulls, but had skulls decorating every possible fixture


The charioteer was the part-fossilized corpse of a warrior so ancient it had been the fashion in his day to share one’s grave with a chariot. He had been a head-collector in life, and his trophies still housed the whispering slivers of the souls they once belonged to, conjoined in their ages-old misery to vent a palpable aura of foul magic cursing the ground wheresoever the chariot passed.


(Game Note: You have probably already guessed, but this is my ‘counts as’ corpse cart.)

As was both proper and expected, it was Generalissimo Urbano d’Alessio who gave the command for the assault to begin, drawing his sword and sweeping it over his head to point at the walls.


Drums and cornets sounded the preparative, growing more numerous and so louder as more musicians joined across the line of battle. The mules and nags in the baggage train reared and jolted in fear, not because they were unused to the beating of drums and blaring of horns, but because the field had been so quiet only moments before. When the first blast of the artillery added to the noise – for it had been agreed that just before anyone moved the artillery would commence its bombardment – it was all the handlers and wagoneers could do to stop the animals breaking their collars and snapping the yokes.


The steam tank and the ogre lead-belchers, however, had been ordered to move immediately the first signal was given, allowing both to close near enough to the walls to add their firepower to that of the big guns. Accordingly, in the very centre of the line, Master Angelo’s iron and timber behemoth juddered, lurched and began to move. It managed a mere three yards when it began to emit groaning roar laced with a squealing hiss (the sound of which was unheard by most in the army due to the thundering of the guns). Desperate to avoid calamity, Da Leoni was forced to vent the steam, and immediately.


As clouds of boiling vapour burst from both funnels (large and small) he knew his pride and joy would not be moving just yet. It was a rather inauspicious start to his engines’ military career.


Calictus II had already spotted the mob of zombies milling outside the city’s northern wall. Reluctant to allow the entire right wing of the army to be distracted and weakened by the need to hack through such a stinking horde of walking corpses, he channeled prayer-magic through his Circlet of Burning Gold to make them stumble and struggle even more than usual, satisfactorily thwarting their advance.

Meanwhile, the artillery’s iron round-shots had thumped into the walls to cause very little discernible damage (Game Note: 3 x ‘No Effects’ rolled. Damian had said his bad dice rolling was legendary, and already we were beginning to wonder.) When the Campogrottan leadbelchers also hefted their barrels …


… and loosed a barrage of lead and iron, they too were surprised to see only one ghoul tumble back from the parapet. Most of their shot merely chipped tiny shards of stone from the walls.

The sound of the blasts now dissipated, and the echoes rapidly diminished, to be replaced by a booming, staccato laughter emanating from the wall by the gate. It was one of the undead brutes, renowned for his bellowing voice in life, and now proving that death had not stripped him of his capability.


When the horde of zombies failed to appear around the north-eastern tower as intended, Lord Adolfo’s lieutenant, a necromancer of considerable skill, realised some curse must have been employed against them. Undismayed, he simply decided he would raise some more. So it was that a newly animated company of corpses burst from the soil, lurched to their feet and commenced their own stumbling advance toward the enemy.


Not willing to allow his men to dwell upon the ineffectiveness of the artillery, and so become disheartened, d’Alessio ordered the general advance. Praying to Morr, Master Angelo shouted instructions down to the engineers below – open that, release this, pull the other – and his engine of war now began to clatter along beside the huge regiment of Estalian pikemen, as they marched on apace.


Although Calictus’ next use of the circlet was successful, an eddy in the winds of magic disturbed his concentration, and all enchantment was subsequently sapped from it. He knew it would be useless for the rest of the fight. The very same eddy proved too slippery for the lesser priest, Father Frederico, too. His Ruby Ring of Ruin sent a fireball to fell two zombies, but then suddenly grew mundanely cold as it too failed to preserve its magical aura. Both priests soon forgot these particular frustrations as they watched two round-shots once again fail even to shake the walls. A third shot, sent from the Pavonan piece, did at least splinter the gate’s timber. Those who noticed (which was not many) decided this might mean the guns could yet contribute to the struggle. Cathayan crossbow bolts felled three of the newly raised zombies, while the cloud of missiles spat out by the leadbelchers and longbows threw only two more ghouls from the parapet. The ghouls, leering intently over the walls, their horribly bent forms twitching as their black-clawed fingers scratched at the stone, seemed not to have even noticed the deaths.


Inside the city, a large company of undead horse had formed up behind the southern wall, and readied themselves to ride right through the very stone itself. (Game note: Daz revealed them, then immediately changed his mind about actually moving them through the wall, thus their unnecessarily early manifestation on the tabletop!)


While on the northern side of the city a ghastly band of hexwraiths burst from the walls to begin riding up behind the magically slowed zombies.


Both the vampire Lord Adolfo and his necromantic second in command cursed as they could find insufficient winds of magic to unleash any effective spells, perhaps the result of the same eddy that had so unbalanced the enemy’s priestly prayers? All they could do was watch as the enemy came on, the massed foot regiments in the centre taking the lead.


Adolfo could not know, but the appearance of the hexwraiths did have an immediate effect on the foe – Generalissimo d’Alessio and the nobility of Remas forming his guard were less than keen to ride any closer to a deadly foe they could not possibly harm. So it was, they slowed their already slow pace, awaiting events to see if there was anything of use they could contribute to the fight.

Three more blasts came from the cannons, and this time one of the brace of Reman guns blew itself apart in the process. For the sixth time a ball of iron bounced from the northern stretch of the wall, making several of those who witnessed wonder whether there might be some enchantment upon the walls. Perhaps they had been bathed in a necromantic concoction of sacrificial blood lending them some magical strength beyond that gifted by mere stone and mortar? Or, much more mundanely, perhaps great, thick piles of earth had been thrown up behind the walls? Labour was cheap in an undead army after all!

A good many among the living soldiers now began to wonder if they were marching headlong to their doom – the thought of having to climb ladders to face such a grisly and evil foe filled them with dread. Father Biagino, his cassock smouldering from the shower of sparks that had washed over him when the gun exploded, chose not to stay and see if the other gun would also shiver itself apart, and crept off to join the Cathayan crossbows. They were nearby, and, more importantly to him, were not the soldiers his nightmare had revealed.

Part 40 Additional Pic Biagino with Cathayan Xbow

Just then, another iron-shot hit the gate, and this time huge shivers of timber were seen to break away as the shot tore right through. Maybe the gate could be broken? Maybe they would charge through fully armed, rather than be forced to clamber up precarious ladders with only swords and knives as weapons?

Even as Master Andelo was leafing through his leather-bound notes and calculations concerning the technical intricacies of his ingenious invention, once again the awful groan issued from its workings, this time punching a measuring rod to full extension, almost tearing it from its housing. Once again he was forced to haul upon both venting levers, whilst shouting as best he could over the shrill hiss of steam to instruct the engineers to open the fueling hatch and loosen the pressure grate. The machine slowed to a halt, and Da Leoni, in truth more baffled than embarrassed, now took a moment to ponder, his book opened in his palm, hoping that inspiration would strike and he could think of some way to make the machine behave.


Again, the hail of missiles hurled at the walls felled only a handful of the foe, while the contrary winds of magic thwarted the workings of yet more magical artefacts. The priests came to accept that they would have to put their faith (rather appropriately) in prayer, rather than rely on enchanted trinkets and baubles.

Now more undead riders appeared, trotting out of the southern walls as if it were no more difficult to do than leaping over a narrow ditch. Once they were the disciplined bodyguard of an ancient warlord, and their training seemed somehow remembered as they wheeled neatly, maintaining an almost (or entirely?) unnatural good order, and began their own leisurely canter towards the foe.


Lord Adolfo found magic enough to restock his slightly damaged company of ghouls, while his necromancer glanced over to see that at last the huge mob of zombies had broken free of whatever had been slowing them. They shambled forwards, hefting rusted swords and empty blunderbusses, bent pitchforks and damp pistols, chipped spears and maces.


Upon the other side of the field of battle, the soldiers of Lord Silvano’s Pavonan battalion were keen on showing the Remans that they would not be laggardly in this fight. They too approached the city, their swordsmen aiming towards the gate while the halberdiers marched straight towards the walls.


Beside them the Campogrottan Ogres continued forwards, the leadbelchers leading the way, hastily loading their pieces in the hope of delivering a hellish blast at the undead riders.


When they did shoot, however, only one foe went down. The noise drew the undead riders’ attention – their empty eye sockets turned towards the brutes, then they pulled at their ragged reins to turn their mounts too.

In the centre of the Morrite army’s line the pike picked up the pace, skirting the empty earthwork and very definitely making for the gate. When it did finally break, they wanted to be ready to attack immediately.


And they were in luck, for just then another Pavonan roundshot smashed into the timber, this time tearing it down and felling the portcullis behind too. The way into Viadaza was now open, and apart from the self-inflicted destruction of a cannon and its crew, the Morrite forces had to lose a single man.


Upon the walls, Lord Adolfo wove adroitly through the fidgeting ghouls to find a better spot to sight the foe, from where he could cast magic to aid both his horse soldiers as well as the defenders on the walls. As the gate splintered and fell, he glared over the parapet, his red eyes exuding hatred, fangs bared, and he began to ponder whether he could hold this city, or whether it might be best to leave and return to his mistress. It seemed to him that a fight to the death meant that she would lose both Viadaza and army, whereas if he could escape with some his force, then only the city was lost. His loyalty to her was strong, informing his every decision, yet for now he put any thought of flight from his mind. His blood was up, and a fury knotted every muscle in his body. This city had been his in life, and was still now his in death. He would try this fight a little longer. His army was still almost wholly intact, and he would have it tear deep into the foe before he chose to yield his city. If he was to leave and flee to his mistress, he intended to tell her he had left the enemy wounded, reeling and afraid.


A hail of missiles poured against the upper reaches of the southernmost walls, bringing down three ghouls, but the volley gun on the upper deck of the steam engine fired low and so merely left a ragged patch of indentations in the stone. Immersed in calculations regarding the workings of his machine, Master Angelo was entirely ignorant of how badly its opening shot had fared.

Now came the first charges, not delivered by the crusaders but against them. The last two surviving zombies of the newly raised pack ran into the flagellants.


One reached for Father Antonello, only to lose its outstretched arm when the priest’s sword came down with furious strength. Of course, the maniacal Morrites made short work of the last zombie, and with such ease that those in and behind the third rank had no idea any sort of fight had even occurred.


The undead horse came thundering into the leadbelchers …


… their spear tips and ancient blades finding their marks with uncanny accuracy, so that one ogre fell and the rest were bloodied. In return, only one rider was dispatched, and the surviving ogres, confused by the unexpected brutality of the onslaught, turned and fled. Finding the ogre bulls immediately behind them they faltered, a momentary lapse that allowed the riders to cut down the last of them. The riders then leaped over the twitching corpses and slammed into the bulls.


Although surprised to discover the foe suddenly so near, young Lord Silvano was determined to prove to his veteran soldiers he was worthy of not only their obedience but also their respect. He lowered his lance, gripped tight upon his shield, and spurred his mount to charge into the skeleton riders who had just engaged the ogres.


Silvano’s halberdiers, still marching towards the city and wondering how in any god’s name they were supposed to assault a wall defended by a foe as vicious as ghouls, now had something else to worry them.

Part 40 Additional Pic Pav Halberdiers

They had been present when Lord Polcario, Silvano’s older brother, had perished upon the walls of Trantio in the doubly fatal duel against the tyrant prince Girenzo. Now, here they were, as the Duke of Pavona’s last surviving son, a stripling who had yet to fight any foe at all, never mind face horrors from beyond the grave, had entered deadly combat. None of them wanted to be upon the receiving end of Duke Guidobaldo’s angry grief if the lad died. Their sergeant, ashen faced, screamed at them to wheel left. The assault would have to wait.

Part 40 Additional Pic Pav Halberdiers Turned

One or two among the body, although they would never admit it, were actually glad of the distraction, for it could well mean they would no longer have to climb the walls to their almost certain deaths.

In the centre, the Estalian pikemen were closing upon the gate, and their captain was considering how exactly he could form the body so as to get through. In the front rank was the Morrite lector of Viadaza, Bernado Ugolini. How strange, he thought, to be approaching the gates of his own city as an attacker. When the city’s new stench came wafting through the open port, however, it was a cruel reminder of what exactly Viadaza had become, and why such destructive a cure was necessary. Glancing up he saw an undead brute glaring down from the parapet, and so he quickly channeled Morr’s Stare with a holy prayer to send the foul creature toppling backwards from the wall.


Aware of just how close Father Antonello’s flagellants were getting to the huge mob of zombies, the arch lector Calictus II began chanting the words of the prayer Morr’s Caress.

(Game Note: The Morrite priests are modified versions of 8th ed. Priests of Sigmar, but with home-rules prayers.)

He felt divine power flowing through him, and knew that the Zombies would now be weakened. Faced with the flagellants’ fury and flails, that weakness would surely mean their imminent demise.

Once again, a vast volley from the living’s left wing resulted in the deaths of a mere handful of the foe, the sturdy stone walls proving a considerable hindrance. Not that those doing the shooting were keen to try some other form of attack – prolonged shooting and aching arms was much preferable to close-proximity to a foe at one and the same time both undead and deadly. This time the steam engine’s volley gun did fell a ghoul. And this time Da Leoni noticed.

Part 40 Additional Pic Maestro even closer

His brow furrowed as he recalled the promises he had made concerning how well his costly machine of war would function in battle – he had boasted of much more than the equivalent of a lone hand-gunner’s lucky shot. Putting his book down, he now strode over to the volley gun and took closer command of the crew.

Lord Silvano’s lance lifted the skeleton horse champion right out of his saddle …

Part 40 Additional Pic Silvano in Action, Rider down

… and sent both his and his mount’s shattered and parted bones tumbling. When the ogres felled two more, the shock was sufficiently strong to un-weave some of the magical threads animating the ancient warriors and cause two more riders to collapse. Over on the far side of the field, the flagellants had worked themselves into such a furious fervour that two of their own number perished in the mayhem. They cared not, and as they smashed into the horde of undead before them they released a truly terrible torrent of iron-bound blows.


Although two more flagellants were to die at the hands of the zombies, thirteen zombies were fatally crushed and torn in return. When Father Antonello himself beheaded two more, so disruptive was their joint assault that fourteen more zombies tumbled to the ground.

(Game Note: We now wondered what the flagellants could have done if they had been in horde formation – it seemed more than likely that they would easily then have finished off all 40 zombies in one turn!)

Upon the wall, the monster that Lord Adolfo had become, his vampiric form made bestial by the family taint of orcen blood in his veins, invoked dark magic to heal his riders, re-knitting the mounted champion’s bones back together so that in a moment he was back, sword in hand, facing the more than a little surprised Lord Silvano. This confusion threw the young lord, and as he now set about attacking the champion for the second time, all his blows failed to land.


Nor was he the only one struggling, as by his side another ogre was cut down. Although some riders were felled by the remaining bulls, several for the second time, the fight remained in the balance. The watching Pavonan halberdiers now knew with sickening clarity that their young general was caught in a combat which, if the vampire Lord Adolfo employed sufficient magic, might prove ultimately deadly. So, without pausing, they charged into the skeleton riders’ flank.


Three more flagellants perished as a consequence of their own carelessly spiraling frenzy, while the rest hewed through the last dozen zombies …

Part 40 Additional Pic Flaggies from Side

… and then without even a moment’s consideration, they hurled themselves at the wall, throwing up their ladders with abandon to begin the ascent. Their only thought was to fight some more.


No matter how he tried, Silvano could not hurt the re-raised champion. It did not matter, though, because with the halberdiers and ogres attacking all around them, the last vestiges of the magical force holding the skeletal riders in this realm began to weaken, and several riders crumbled to the ground. Surely the stubborn champion would also soon succumb?

The two remaining crusader cannons had begun to concentrate their fire upon the tower between the gate and the southernmost stretch of the eastern wall. Ball after ball plunged into the stone, each one visibly weakening the structure, until it leaned precariously backwards, looking like a stiff wind could knock it down. The Pavonan swordsmen near it slowed their pace almost to a halt, each of them praying that it would fall soon and so grant them a way into the city less deadly than climbing the walls. Meanwhile, the Estalian pike regiment had formed into a column of three and began emerging into the city proper, their battle cries echoing off the grey stone.


(Game Note: As GM I allowed the pike to swift-reform into a 3 file-wide column, then wheel to advance through the gate. I also ruled that in this situation I would allow rank bonuses to apply. Thinking on it, I may have been a tad too generous here, and tbh I had given no thought to the fact that the gate might have defences to allow the undead ogres on the walls and tower above to attack down, but … the modified 7th ed. siege rules we were using said that the gate was smashed and: “The way to the fortress is free. However, some pieces of the gate remain so troops can only move through at half speed” This seemed pretty clear, so we went with what that statement seemed to be saying. Having re-enacted pike IRL, I knew that it is possible to steadily step with pikes ‘charged’ if you are going straight forwards through a stone gate way, or that instead one can trail a pike to get through the gate, then haul it up to ‘charge your pike’ as you emerge (provided the enemy doesn’t get in the way too soon). But now I have thought about it more, the pike still went in too quick, for I think I missed the half rate movement comment, and I should not have allowed the pike to use their pike, in light of the text re: bits of the gate being in the way. The subsequent fights would have been harder with hand weapons instead of 3 extra ranks fight (Treachery & Greed campaign pike rules.) To add to my regrets, I noticed afterwards that the ‘pike-phalanx’ rules do not apply to difficult terrain, and this really should have been counted as difficult terrain. I stick by my vow to try to get it right next time, if that’s any consolation to my players.)

Directed by Master Angelo, the volley gun crew loaded, cranked, levered and then triggered the firelock ignition to blast once more, this time blowing apart one of the undead brutes on the parapet above the gate. The other brutes failed even to flinch at their comrade’s violent demise, merely watching as more and more of the pikemen streamed through the gate below them.


The Pavonan lord Silvano Gondi was struggling to best the bony champion, distracted as he was by the need to regain control of his terrified mount (what with ogres to one side and walking dead to its fore), and breathed a sigh of relief when the champion and the last remaining riders finally collapsed. Lord Adolfo’s sustaining magic had withered away completely, for the simple reason he was not even looking their way anymore. Instead, the vampire’s attention was turned to within the city, where both his and his servant’s necromantic magic was pouring forth to animate and re-animate zombies, skeletons and even the undead brutes.

Itself awash with a flow of dark magic, the ancient head hunter’s chariot clattered along the lane behind the walls to crash into the flank of the pikemen …


… but it had scraped against the wall along the route, slowing it and lessening its impact. It did little harm to the pike. When the Estalian champion then hacked a head off one of the horses pulling it, the whole thing crumbled to the ground.

(Game Note: I am embarrassed to admit we probably got this wrong too. Even though I had (however dubiously) allowed the pike to have ranks, the rules say the rank bonus is gained from ranks behind the fighting rank. And even if we still counted the ranks, the corpse cart should still have been around because: Cart = +1 for charging, + 1 flank cf. pike = +1 wound, +1 standard, +3 ranks. Thus the W4 corpse cart should only have lost 3 wounds at the most, and none if we had not counted ranks. I think this was down to both me and the players not looking too closely at the stats involved. We’ll get it right next time.)

The earthwork before the gate was now revealed to be a grave-pit as well as a defensive feature, for zombies now clawed their way out of the soil to face the flank of the pikemen attempting to negotiate the gate.


Very soon the flagellants, again at the cost of several of their own number (sacrificed to their spiraling frenzy) had cleared the wall of skeletons and moved to occupy the north-eastern tower, allowing the Cathayan halberdiers to clamber up onto the wall behind them. Three living regiments had already penetrated the defences.


When the first Cathayans to arrive on the parapet looked down into the city, they saw that the ethereal riders had passed back through the wall, to face towards the pikemen.


It was obvious that the hellish warriors intended to charge the pikemen, a move which could overwhelm them, especially as the pike were now engaged to their front with the growing swarm of zombies Lord Adolfo was summoning.


Fully aware of just how hard pressed the pikemen might find themselves, assaulting through the main entrance to the city, the Lector of Viadaza blessed them with both Morr’s Holy Protection (5+ ward) and Harmonic Convergence. Then, as Calictus II himself once again cast Morr’s murderous Caress upon the brute horrors, two more cannon balls slammed into the tower to the south of the gate and finally brought it toppling down.


Outside the gate the zombies upon the earthwork were blasted from all sides – dwarfen pistols, the carroccio’s handguns, the steam engine’s swivels, and the volley gun’s barrels. What twitching, broken, muddy remnants were left on the earthwork no longer presented any sort of threat. Three staggered uncertainly towards the dwarfs to be cut down laughably easily (although no-one was laughing).

As the pike began a somewhat messy fight with the zombies inside the gate, the large body of skeletons manning the currently unthreatened southern wall now trooped down into the city, heading towards the fallen tower’s rubble remains. Lord Adolfo intended them to prevent anyone else entering that side of the city, hoping that thus the pikemen could be dealt with before anyone could come to their aid.

The hexwraiths galloped silently down the length of the lane behind the northern wall to hurtle into the flank of the pikemen, immediately killing three with their cursed scythes.


But the pike were still hacking at the zombies in front of them, hewing umpteen apart, and in so doing they shattered the magical forces holding both the last zombies and the hexwraiths. In a moment, they suddenly found themselves facing nothing but heaped corpses, with only two hexwraiths left to their side. The other riders had dissipated into faint wisps of etheric vapours. To the south of them there was a clattering sound as the Pavonan swordsmen came scrabbling over the ruins of the tower to join the Estalians inside the city proper.


There they immediately saw the skeletons pouring up the street towards them …


… and moments later the two bodies were locked in combat.


The sheer weight of numbers of pikemen meant the mounted wraiths failed to inflict enough damage to unnerve them, and when the last two also vanished from this world, the pike calmly reformed to face the walls to ensure the surviving brutes still occupying the parapet could not surprise them from behind.


(Game Note: You might suppose that the zombie ogres (counts as crypt horrors) should have come down from the walls of the gate section to attack the pike much earlier, but in doing so they would thus have yielded a section. You see, victory in this siege-assault game hinged on how many sections (GM designated walls, towers, and three chunks of city within) were controlled at the end of the game. If the undead ogres had left the wall, then the attackers outside would have immediately occupied it, so that the undead player lost a victory point while the attackers gained one. That would make two points difference to the end result, a difference sufficient to grant a major victory to the attackers. So the undead player decided rather than add another unit to a section of the city which was already contested and probably would remain so (denying points to either player for that section), he would keep the undead ogres on the wall. He didn’t know the pikemen would win their combat. Leaving the wall to charge the swordsmen with his skeletons, however, didn’t give either side a bonus, rather it meant the tower – well, now rubble – they occupied, was contested, and so failed to grant victory point to the crusaders, whilst simultaneously not allowing them to get any further and claim any more sections.)

With so little left to shoot at upon the walls it did not seem important that the next bout of missile fire, everything from cannon balls to arrows, inflicted no harm at all. The Pavonan gun, it’s barrel fouled by the rapid firing and its crew exhausted, failed to fire at all, even with a skilled engineer tending it. The crew now took the opportunity to stop for a moment and study the walls, while their engineer peered through his long-rifled jezzail sights, sweeping along the parapets to examine each one. He watched in fascination as the foe began to leave the walls.


Lord Adolfo, realising that to continue the fight would mean certain destruction, decided now was time to leave. And quickly.

(Game Note: The undead player, in this 8th and final turn of the extended siege scenario, had managed to ensure that the attackers were up by only one city section. Lord Adolfo passed a Strength test to leap across from the wall with the ghouls to the wall vacated by the skeletons, thus gaining the point for that section. This meant a ‘minor victory’ for the attackers, not a ‘major victory’, and the campaign casualty recovery rules thus allowed any units the defender still had on the field to retreat intact to the next campaign map hex. According to the rules, Adolfo and all the troops still standing now would survive this battle, even if the city was lost.)

The vampire lord loosed a terrible wail, as a signal. He himself had already leapt across to the southern wall, while behind him the ghouls began leaping down to scamper through the streets towards the docks.


Lord Adolfo leapt down to join them, quickly outpacing all the rest as he led them away.


The Cathayans upon the wall sounded their horns …


… and the crew of the surviving Reman gun joined in prayers with the arch-lector’s priestly clerk standing close by …


… while Father Biagino and the Cathayan crossbowmen glanced over to Generalissimo d’Alessio to see if he was going to signal victory.

Part 40 Additional Pic Biagino with Cathayan Xbow Closer

He did, and the cheers spread from field to wall to inside the city.


Viadaza was retaken. The Holy Army of Morr had gained its first victory.


Appendix (Various Game Notes)

The Church of Morr carroccio is a form of armed and armoured war wagon/war altar, just like the one the peasant crusaders of Viadaza had employed at Pontremola. It acts as both a battle standard bearer with 18” effect, but also quells the effects of fear caused by undead to that range too. But the anti-fear ability only works on southern Estalians and Tileans, i.e. those who worship Morr as an important, if not the most important, deity in the pantheon. Ogres, dwarfs and Cathayans, all present in the Crusading army, do not gain this benefit. Of course, Ogres cause fear, so wouldn’t suffer it anyway. Just thought I’d mention this so that you would know why no-one had their WS reduced to 1 in this game.)

Composition of the Crusade Marching Force

Our own Tilean campaign list, modified from the T&G campaign list:
Arch- Lector of Morr Calictus II @ 201 Tilean Noble
Priests of Morr: Fr. Federico Tinti @ 55
Pepe Lito, Condotta Captain @ 65 pts Artillerist
40 Condotta Pike (Estalian Mercenaries) @ 435
25 Cathayan Halberdiers @ 150
16 Cathayan Crossbowmen @ 149
11 Bravi Skirmishers @ 99
8 Dwarf Sea Ranger Skirmishers @ 112
2 Great Cannons @ 230
Carroccio @ 265 (Counts as Army Standard) Maestro Angelo da Leoni’s Steam-Tank @ 250
30 Flagellants with leader @ 370
7 Knights with full command @ 186
3 baggage wagons

Campogrottan Crusaders
Ogre list & Tilean list
4 Ogre Leadbelchers (Thunderfist & Bellower) & 6 Ogre Bulls (full command) @ 402
Priest of Morr, 15 Brigand archers, 16 Longbowmen (condottiere full command) @ 394
& baggage wagon

Volunteer Viadazans
Our own Tilean campaign list, modified from the T&G campaign list:
Morrite Lector of Viadaza, Bernado Ugolini @ 196
Prophetic Book, Robe of Cathayan Silk, Sword of Might
Urbano D’Alessio, Condottiere General @ 172
Sword of anti-heroes, Charmed Shield, Talisman of Endurance. Merc’ skill: Hopelessly stubborn
Priests of Morr: Father Biagino @ 85 & Father Antonello @ 80
Biagino = Circlet of Burning Gold // Antonello = Ruby Ring of Ruin

Empire List
Mounted Captain (Lord Silvano)
15 handgunners
18 halberdiers
24 swordsmen
8 archers

Next Installment: Part 10

One thought on “Tilea Campaign, Part 9

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