SWMBO and I are working our way through Dormammu’s "Simple Campaign for KS Backers".
For this level, the forces of darkness may include standards, fatties, runners, NPCs, deadeyes, wolvz, crowz, abominations, wolfbominations, ablobination and the abominorat.
We are playing a house rule for this campaign that, if no exit zone is specified, a Survivor may escape by using an action to step off the board from any peripheral street zone if there is no zombie on it.
This is a report on a session which...well, read on and find out!
Level 11 “The Ambush”
The Survivors are tired. None of the group were there at the beginning – indeed, even the names of the six “Originals” are but legend – names on the Scroll of Honour now carried by Mizar – their deeds forgotten. No one is left who knew an Original. Klom briefly fought along someone who claimed to have seen the Dwarf, Samson, overrun by a horde of undead, sacrificing himself to let his comrades escape. The Originals have been replaced twice over. But the Survivors have been fortunate. For every casualty, a new warrior has been found. Time, after time, after time. The zombie hordes have truly taken their toll.
Moving through the village, at a T-junction, Mizar – a sorcerer of not insignificant power – suddenly holds up a clenched fist – one of the battle signs taught to a previous group by the near-mythical Clovis and passed on to each new Survivor. Everyone freezes. “I sense…evil.” he mutters.
Marcus, also a magician and once widely (though less than honestly) known as “the Mighty”, stammers, “Yes…it’s…it’s…all around us!”.
Lightening cracks overhead. From several buildings blue light flares around door and window frames. Marcus cries “Those thrice-damned nercomaners! It’s a trap! We need to destroy those lures…and fast!”
Moving surprisingly fast for his size, Klom (an Ogre) moves to the nearest door and attacks it with his hammer. With a mighty stroke the door falls open. Although there is no movement to his front, he sees a pair of walkers rising to their feet to his left…and worse, they’re reaching for bows. Deadeyes! From the corner of his right eye he sees a flicker of movement…six glittering eyes. And teeth. Knowing that he cannot bring his hammer up fast enough to defend against the wolvz, Klom steps away from the door, moving west towards the next lure. Mizar and Genevieve join him.
“With me!” cries Marcus with unusual decisiveness and leadership. He runs towards the lure in the northeastern building, followed by Gaak and Lord Balzak - a dwarf of Sampson's extended family. Behind them, the wolvz disturbed by Klom race out of the building, catching that half of the party.
Just around the corner from Klom and his friends, a bolt of blue lightening strikes the ground. Queen Medea steps out of the shadows. She raises her arms in a gesture oh-so-familiar to our heroes…but nothing happens. A frown crosses her once-lovely face. Noise is heard in two areas to the east, but nothing appears. A town block to the south, footsteps can be heard.
Using his sword, Gaak levers open the door to the north-east building. To his horror, a lumbering fatty stumbles towards the door. More wolvz leap from the shadows. Gaak, on his first patrol since joining the Survivors, panics. He runs round the nearest corner, trying to get out of their undead sight. Balzak and Marcus, similarly unequipped to deal with these foes follow suit.
To the west, Klom wields his hammer with great effect. Three wolvz lie dead around him. Mizar and Genevieve move back towards the open door, each claiming an archer.
Queen Medea steps onto the junction next to Klom. Behind her, he can make out three walkers, a one-time priest and the reanimated corpse of dancing girl. To the east the fatty steps out onto the road. The wolvz, seeking prey, see Klom by the bodies of their pack mates and race towards him. Shuffling footsteps are heard from the north. Marcus’ group is horrified to see three zombie archers appear right next to them
Klom steps towards Medea, crushing her head with his mighty hammer and steps back. Genevieve steps into the building desperately hoping for a more effective weapon than her basic short bow, but finds only a basket of apples. Marcus steps into the building, finds the means to conjure a lightning bolt and steps out, preparing to unleash his magic on the walkers as they come round the corner.
Gaak, regaining his courage, steps into the group of archers and lays about him. His skills as a reaper enable him to kill all three. Balzak comes past him and smashes his hammer through the skull of the fatty. Marcus joins him next to the open door.
What a mistake.
The surviving wolvz, their attention caught by the noise behind them, turn and leap. Three sets of teeth and claws tear through Marcus’s light robes. Even Balzak’s dwarvish clothes are no defence. With wolvz between him and his friends, Gaak turns to run…only to find two more wolvz behind him.
To the east, the shambling horde step onto the junction. Lightening flashes. Another necromancer! A solitary walker accompanies him. Two flights of crowz appear, doubtless attracted by Marcus’ despairing screams as he died.
Gaak manages to defeat the wolvz next to him. However, the sight of the wolvz tearing apart the bodies of Balzak and Marcus is too much for him. “Run!” he wails, and flees east, disappearing from sight.
With crowz to the west, wolves to the east, half of the party dead or departed, Mizar realises their position is hopeless. “This way! Now!!!”. He, Genevieve and Klom race for the road south of their starting position. There are too many wolvz and crowz to fight. All they can hope to do is to escape.
Behind them, lightning flares again. A necromancer has revivified Queen Medea. They bring runners with them, trying to chase down the three remaining Survivors. More wolvz appear from the west.
“RUN!” cries Mizar.
With pounding hearts and bursting lungs, Genevieve, Klom and he do exactly that. As they leave the town, heading south, an archer takes aim at them, but they are gone before he can loose. A runner grabs at Genevieve but misses.
Once out of town, the forests allow the survivors split up, confusing and evading the pursuing zombies. One by one they return to their camp. Gaak, too, has made it back.
Marcus and Balzak are dead. There is no time to mourn. It was very nearly worse. “I want those bastard necromancers dead” growls Mizar. Their abuse of the magical arts gnaws at him, perhaps more deeply than the others, because of his own knowledge of the arcane.
“The four of us won’t be enough” opines Genevieve. “We’re going to need more help.”
Klom grunts in agreement. Gaak says nothing, still stunned by watching the speed with which the patrol fell apart and the horror of watching two experienced Survivors torn apart.