Play was also slightly delayed last weekend - not by drink but by the after effects of drink!
The Surviving Dwarf Miners -
Yet the miners were not entirely helpless, nor were they idle. Working in short shifts to conserve what little food they had left, the Dwarfs grimly chipped away in the deepest recesses of the their tunnel. While they still drew breath, dank and stale though it may be, there was hope of escape.
After the third day of their imprisonment they awoke to an uncanny silence. No longer did the Orc's bickering and guttural snarls pollute the air at the mine entrance. Instead the sharp ozone tang of magic wafted through the cracks that served them for ventilation. Then the chanting started. Below them...
As they listened, the hairs of their beards prickling with fear, there came a scrabbling at the rockface where they had been digging. Small stones skittered to the floor, soon followed by larger ones, until a dark hole stared evilly at them from the tunnel wall. Tinnyson edged closer to investigate. Suddenly a bony hand shot out snatching blindly at him. The Dwarfs didn't hesitate! Even as the wall began to collapse they turned and ran, the sound of bony feet upon the stony ground ringing in their ears...
Dwarf Turn 1
Preceded by the sinister clattering of bony feet four skeleton warriors burst out of the mine in hot pursuit!
Blocked by the line of grim-faced Dwarfs the remaining skeletons are unable to gang up on their prey. One foul creature charges into Alfryd but is fought off to a draw. Cackling horribly, the third skeleton leaps from the ledge and falls on Deadeye, pushing the surprised Dwarf back.
Further down the mountainside, Tim the Necromancer and the rest of his cursed band emerge from out of the hidden entrance to his catacombs.
Things look grim for the Dwarfs, but luckily the shouts and clash of steel alert the Gnomes further down the valley. Amazed to see a small horde of skeletons pouring into the head of the Cwm, they quickly make preparations to come to the aid of the benighted Dwarfs.
Griebel peers into the distance, takes careful aim and lets loose a shot at the nearest undead creature. His aim is good and the shot breaks the unnatural bonds holding the foul being's bones together. Trowelson, Slugsbane and Smallmarsh make for the small hill in front of them to gain what height advantage they can.
Greenfinger dashes next to Griebel and, sighting down his gnarled finger, unleashes a magical hail of stone at the approaching skeletons. Unfortunately the energy of his magical attack peters out before it can do any damage.
Piewright charges into combat to assist Deadeye, who is now sufficiently recovered to draw his short sword. Together they make short work of the skeleton assailing them.
Fletch hurriedly levels his crossbow and takes a panicked shot at Dimm the Ogre, barely stinging the great brute!
Up on the ridge Alfryd and Kanaeri gang up on the skeleton leering down at them. A well aimed swipe of a hammer takes its legs from under it and the creature falls to its second death at the foot of the crags below.
Alfryd and Kanaeri look on in horror, but are unable to help as a ghastly, green glow begins to emanate from the mine entrance. A chill blast of stale air hits them, bringing up the foul reek of the grave, as a terrifying Wight glides into the cold mountain light.
Slowly a shape forms within the portal, gradually growing and growing until two great skeletal hands wrench its great bulk through into reality. With a mighty bellow, the newly summoned Bone Giant glared around with its balefl, empty eyes-socket.
Kanaeri stilled his beating heart and charges into the Wight. Leaping up the slope Piewright joins the fray, pushing the Wight back towards the tunnel mouth. Down below the two crossbowmen unleash a volley at the approaching skeletons. Fletch drops his target, as does Deadeye, slightly evening the odds in the inevitable melee.
Deadeye wipes the rictus grin off the last spear-armed skeleton, leaving only the Bone Giant to contend with. Despite taking careful, Fletch's shot passes harmlessly through the gaps in its ribcage.
The ground once more begins to shake as Glimtwiss' eyes cloud over into milky white orbs. His voice echoes across the battlefield as he invokes the Spirit of the Mountains. The circle of stones forming his portal bursts asunder as a huge Earth Elemental rises majestically skywards.
Griebel sprints up the hill and casts his beady around for new targets. With only the Necromancer in the distance he snapped off another quick shot, predictably missing!
The Bone Giant leans forward, raining down blows across the barricade at Fletch, forcing him back. Stepping over the sandbags, the Giant presses forward, threatneing Deadeye as well.
Cursing the fragility of his minions, Tim summons forth a ghostly spectre to strike terror in the hearts of the stubborn Dwarfs.
Before they have time to react, the sole surviving skeleton charges Kanaeri, but the combat is a draw.
Kanaeri struggles on against his long dead opponent, slowly gaining the upper hand and pushing the reeking skeleton back.
Piewright rushes to the aid of the crossbowmen and together they push the towering monster back across the barricade.
Helping Smallmarsh up, the Gnomes see their chance to kick the big guy while he's down! Together with the Elemental, their attack finsihes off the hapless Ogre. Slugsbane, emboldened by his encounter with Dimm, advances on the Bone Giant.
To add insult to injury Griebel's next shot forces the infuriated Necromancer to throw himself ignominiously to the ground! Out of range of Trowleson's guiding hand, Glimtwiss becomes distracted (rolls a wildside action - stupid/absentminded!) and leans over to examine some interesting fungi growing nearby!
Cursing the Gnomish wizard for the loss of his pet ogre at the hands of the Elemental Tim sends a fiery skull screaming towards unwitting sorcerer. Looking up from his toadstools, Dimtwiss is just in time to absorb the evil energy. Chanelling it back at the Necromancer, he engages Tim in a battle of wills. At first it seems as though they are evenly matched but slowly the duel takes its toll on the Gnome. Glimtwiss is the first to weaken and with Tim's triumphant cackle ringing in his ears they shrink as he is turned into a warty toad in a blinding flash!
Sacrificing their last dredskull, Kanaeri wearily engages his skeletal foe once more, however the brave attempt come to naught as dead hands bring down a rusty axe in a killing blow!
Now completely reformed, the Bone Giant roared in anger, but even as the gnomes quailed in its shadow, the necromantic energies holding the behemoth together began to wane (Wildside roll - bound!). Once more the gargantuan bones tumbled earthwards and this time lay still.
With a great cry of rage, Tim saw that the game was up. Yet in his spite, he had one more trick up his sleeve. Stabbing a cruelly hooked finger at Piewright, the Necromancer chanted the words of the Magia Imperii. Falling under the insidious control of the sorcerer, the Dwarf's eyes rolled back and his mouth lolled open. His comrades watched on in horror as their noble leader drew his sword and angled it at his own throat! The blade drew closer to what passed for his neck but Piewright seemd to regain some conciousness... his eyes darted back and forth as he struggled with himself for control over the weapon.