Monday, 15 August 2016

Van Demons Land - Fantasy HOTT campaign.

The Wizard Daphne shook her head sadly as she watched her crystal ball and saw the Knights of Y destroyed by the goblins. Just like mankind she thought, always letting us down. Later that night Daphne sent messages to the kings of each of the races informing them of the disaster and asking them to meet at the peace village to discuss the coming war.

Before she sent her messages Daphne also bought some shares in a few armament companies, “no point waiting until after the news got out. Best to get in early and build up the nest egg.” she thought. This is why Wizards are always thought to be wise.

Over dinner Daphne let her mind wander over how it had all started nearly 500 years ago.

The not so great wizard Fourbytwo (nicked named “Thick As” at Hogwash wizards’ school) had disobeyed the Wizard Council’s decree and had been secretly experimenting with magical gene splicing. This had been explicitly avowed as illegal by the council due to many miss steps and near disasters. Many a wizard’s creation had killed him as well as many innocent locals before it could be destroyed. Luckily none had been able to breed.

Fourbytwo believed he was different and had left the continent and established a hidden laboratory in an old penal colony in Van Demons Land island which was situated south of the mainland. Here he decided to grow a new race of helpers for the civilised races that was made up by the DNA of all of them.

He included Dwarf DNA for size and mechanical ability, Orc DNA for strength, Elf DNA for a sweet visage and manners, Human DNA for humility and kindness. Unknown to him he also accidentally included some rabbit DNA.

He discovered that he hadn’t quite got all the DNA ingredients in the right order. The DNA from the Dwarves worked and he got their size and mechanical ability. But he got the visage and manners of the Orcs, Elfish humility and kindness (also known as arrogance and cruelty with a strong dash of xenophobia) and Human strength plus the ability to breed like rabbits.

Unfortunately other than these minor mix ups his experiment was a complete success and soon his creations were breeding away in the cellars and rooms of his castle and to his surprise by the end of the year there seemed to be hundreds of the little buggers. He started to try and cull them and that is when the trouble started.

As the doors of his laboratory were being smashed down by the goblins as they rebelled against their murderous creator, Fourbytwo sent out a desperate plea for help to the Wizards’ Council. 

Unfortunately they were at a big dinner and didn’t get it until late the next day when the hangovers had calmed down a bit. Needless to say they were pretty pissed off and the informal opinion was to leave Fourbytwo to his fate. However, wiser (though sorer) heads finally prevailed and they sent an away team of young and relatively sober apprentice wizards to investigate.

The away team reported no sign of Fourbytwo other than some torn robes and a few human bones with teeth marks on them. The team tried to kill the goblins but they disappeared into castle’s dungeons and the surrounding countryside. To stop the spread of the goblins the team built a magical wall across the peninsula the castle stood on and left it at that.

The Wizards Council decided to lay the blame on the humans as Fourbytwo was one of theirs. The kings of the humans finally agreed after receiving a number of threats to their persons plus some revelations of embarrassing information about their lives that they didn’t want public.

Knowing that there were always plenty of stupid aristocrats’ sons ready to join any worthy cause that involved excessive violence the human kings set up the Knights of the Alphabet. The Knights would have responsibility for keeping the goblins on their peninsula and hopefully eradicating them. This gave the kings a good excuse to do very little while also having a convenient scapegoat to blame if things went wrong.

The Knights of the Alphabet had a sad history. After a hundred years of fighting they still had not eradicated the goblins on the peninsula. Then after one very costly expedition inside goblin territory when they had been cut off and nearly eliminated and with only a few survivors making it back to the wall, the goblins had counterattacked and swarmed and killed the remaining defenders and finally tore down that wall.

From that time on the goblins continued to spread across the island. The Knights of the Alphabet built many castles from where they would go riding out from to slaughter the hapless goblin communities. The knights boasted of their prowess and bravery but as time went by the goblins grew in power and took one castle after another, and returning the knights’ favours, slaughtering all the Knights and their supporters.

After each castle fell the Kings of the humans would send out a rousing call for more volunteers to man the next castle. For 400 years it was a great way for the dukes and barons to get rid of unwanted boys who were a bit thick and easily convinced to go. In fact, over time it became a reason to question someone’s intelligence if they had ever served with the Knights of the Alphabet.
Many people started to think that the goblins were learning from the Knights. “How to be pig headed, violent, stupid and stubborn” they sniggered.

Daphne finished her dessert and a third bottle of red wine. The second last castle had fallen and now it was time for the elder races to show the humans how it was done.

A few days later at the peace village of PeaceManTown, the Elves, Orcs, Dwarfs and Wizards met. The first bit of business was easily negotiated and they issued a communique laying full blame on the humans. The humans countered by saying “stuff you and we are not going to help”.

Then there was several days of acrimonious discussion of which army was going to fight. As this was following two days of negotiations of who was going to sit in which chair and the shape and size of the table. It is hard to find a table to suit everyone, the Orcs refuse to sit on the floor and the Dwarves refuse to sit on bar stools unless they are drinking. Plus another day negotiating how many advisors each king or ruler could have. Daphne finally had had enough.

Daphne stamped her wizard’s staff on the ground and let out an ear piecing scream. “That is it! You are all going to provide one army. The Wizards will provide one too! We shall resurrect some dead humans so the lazy ignorant buggers do something as well. Go home, get your armies, you shall all meet at the ferry point on the south side of the continent in two months. We will take your armies over one by one and you can start your campaign from Castle Z to destroy the goblins.

I will prepare a map so that each of you attacks and destroys the same number of goblin settlements and you all meet at the peninsula goblin ground point zero at the same time. There we can join together in one army and finish the goblin menace once and for all.”

The armies would have to advance through the goblin island, Van Demons Land, and destroy the goblin armies and then each settlement with a Thaumo-magical Weapon of Mass Death that the Council of Wizards would supply.

As they advanced from their starting point they would get less and less replacements. The leaders of each race argued that this was right as obviously if they were advancing things are going well and there is no reason to spend any more than necessary.

On the contrary, if they were still close to their starting point things are chancy and it is best for the rulers if a maximum effort is put in by their subjects.

For the goblins the opposite is true. The goblin communities far from the peninsula were young and inexperienced. They were mostly made up of hordes of young goblins with little in the way of weaponry or organisation. The goblins near the peninsula had had time to work out different technologies and techniques and even had some wizards. So the going would get tougher as the Elder Races’ armies advanced.

Van Demons Land had always been known as a place of strange and deadly creatures, that is why it was chosen as a penal colony. It had worked well until one day something ate all the prisoners and guards and it was abandoned after that. So Daphne knew they might meet some other foes during their expedition. Hopefully none had made common cause with the goblins.


Campaign rules

The invading armies (Wizards’ Undead Army, Elvish Army, Orc Army and Dwarf Army) start off with a full 24 AP points from the HOTT rules. All armies must conform to the HOTT rules. As the invading armies fight battles they will only be able to replace the number of AP as shown in the table below. This means that they may not be at full strength for the next battle. Unused replacements cannot be carried forwards.

When the invading army wins a battle it moves forward one area. If it loses a battle it goes back one area. The invading army receives the number of replacements for the area it moves into.

Wizards Undead army
Elvish Army
Orc Army
Dwarf Army
Castle Z
6 AP of replacements.

Castle Z
6 AP of replacements.

Castle Z
6 AP of replacements.

Castle Z
6 AP of replacements.

Area 1   4 AP of replacements.

Area 1   4 AP of replacements.

Area 1   4 AP of replacements.

Area 1   4 AP of replacements.

Area 2   3 AP of replacements.

Area 2   3 AP of replacements.

Area 2   3 AP of replacements.

Area 2   3 AP of replacements.

Area 3   2 AP of replacements.

Area 3   2 AP of replacements.

Area 3   2 AP of replacements.

Area 3   2 AP of replacements.

Area 4   2 AP of replacements.

Area 4   2 AP of replacements.

Area 4   2 AP of replacements.

Area 4   2 AP of replacements.

Peninsula 2 AP of replacements.

Peninsula 2 AP of replacements.

Peninsula 2 AP of replacements.

Peninsula 2 AP of replacements.


Goblins
As the armies approach the goblin home territory in the peninsula the number of hordes in each army will decrease

Area 1                  each goblin army contains 12 AP of hordes
Area 2                  each goblin army contains 8 AP of hordes
Area 3                  each goblin army contains 4 AP of hordes
Area 4                  each goblin army contains 0 AP of hordes


Peninsula             each goblin army contains 48 AP and battles the combined armies of the Wizards, Orcs, Elves and Dwarves, or at least those that make it that far.

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