Wednesday, February 5, 2014

The Fall of the Necromancer

The final stages of the battle against the Necromancer are at hand. After fierce fighting the forces of the White Council have breached the fortresses defenses and Gandalf and Saruman lead the charge to bring the Necromancer himself to battle. The Necromancer awaits just outside the tower of Dol Guldor and Gandalf and Saruman approach from the East and West respectively. Reinforcements for both sides are struggling to fight their way through the churning melee and will be arriving over time. For now however, the two wizards face the evil alone.

Turn 1 - Good
In the opening phase of the battle, good gets the first move. Legolas steps onto the field from the east and looks around warily. Both Gandalf and Saruman attempt to cast Sorcerous Blast, but perhaps the sight of the Necromancer has given them pause, as both spells fizzle with no effect. The first of the Evil reinforcements arrive in the form of three Giant Spiders, two crawling from cracks in the tower wall, and one emerging from a decrepit mausoleum in the south-west. The Necromancer, seeing an opportunity to remove a hated opponent advances menacingly on Saruman. With a silent gesture, a bolt of energy flies from an extended finger and strikes Saruman square in the chest. Saruman is unable to resist the effects of the Chill Soul spell, and is forced to use all three of his Fate points to avoid its enfeebling effects. Wasting no time, Legolas quickly fires three arrows, striking a spider with all three. Two of the arrows glance off the creatures exoskeleton, but the third crunches through and causes a wound.

Turn 2 - Evil
The tramp of heavy feet and a bellow of rage heralds the arrival of a Troll Chieftain, who bursts from the tower bearing a huge blade. With another silent gesture, tendrils of black fog descend upon Saruman and Transfix him in place. The Necromancer glides forward to engage the stricken wizard, while the spider who had emerged from the mausoleum joins him, chittering excitedly.

The Troll Chieftain stomps heavily in the direction of Gandalf, while the two other spiders quickly swarm around the grey wizard

Emerging from the west, Radagast and Arwen arrive, as Cirdan struggles free of the melee and steps onto the field from the east. Legolas lets fly with a single, well aimed arrow which strikes one of the spiders assailing Gandalf, but it too glances off with no harm done. In a display of Arachnid Fury, the two spiders swarm over Gandalf, overwhelming his defences. With vicious bites from their venomous fangs, they cause four wounds. Using his entire store of Fate, the grey wizard is able to prevent two of the wounds, but is left staggering near death. On the other side of the field The Necromancer and a spider defeat Saruman, with the spider causing two wounds.

Turn 3 - Good
Carving a path through several orcs with his glittering blade, Glorfindel strides onto the scene. Saruman gathers his Will, spending three points to cast Sorcerous Blast at the Necromancer, who contemptuously spends two Will of his own to resist the spell. Seeing Saruman's dire condition, Radagast uses his free Will point to cast Renew on Saruman. Gandalf breaks free of the two spiders, and unleashes a Sorcerous Blast, sending the Troll Chieftain flying backward, killing one of the spiders.

Cirdan speaks a few solemn words, and Gandalf, Legolas and himself are surrounded by an Aura of Dismay. Saruman falls back slightly as Arwen and Glorfindel move to the front.

Seeing the shining form of Glorfindel advancing implacably, the Necromancer also retreats. Another bolt of energy streaks from his extended hand, this time targeting Arwen. The Chill Soul spell causes a wound, and the Daughter of Elrond staggers. A fourth Giant Spider emerges from the mausoleum and scuttles to get between the Necromancer and his foes. The remaining spider on the east side attempts to charge Cirdan, but is unable to overcome the Aura, and freezes in place. Quickly loosing a succession of three arrows, two of them strike the Necromancer, but his ethereal form proves surprisingly resilient and no harm is caused. Arwen dodges the snapping fangs and flailing legs of a spider, and neatly slices off two of its legs, causing a wound.

Turn 4 - Good
Maintaining their grip on initiative, Elrond and Galadriel arrive on the field, from the West and East respectively. Gandalf blasts the Troll Chieftain with pure Sorcerous energy, sending the troll flying into the wall of the tower with a heavy thud, though the beast is only stunned, not injured.

Cirdan again attempts to cast Aura of Dismay, but his is cast slightly off balance by the backblast from Gandalf's spell, and it fails. On the opposite side of the battle, Radagast again casts Renew on Saruman, and the healing power of the spell returns him to his original complement of wounds. Feeling fresh resolve, Saruman casts Sorcerous Blast on the Necromancer, but the spell fails to do any damage. The evil force grows as a Ringwraith and a Castellan of Dol Guldor step out of the shadows. The wraith promptly casts Sap Will on Elrond, who is unable to resist its enervating effects. Legolas again fires an arrow into the shifting shape of the Necromancer, but is again unable to cause any harm. Rushing to engage a pair of spiders, Arwen and Glorfindel's blades glitter in the gloom. Arwen spends a Might point to defeat her opponent, but her blade skates off the creatures hide and does no damage. Glorfindel also spent a point of Might to defeat his spider, but the Elf Lord's blade shears effortlessly through the spider, killing it.

Turn 5 - Good
Roaring with rage, the Troll Chieftain calls a Heroic Move, which CIrdan is unable to contest. However, the brute's courage deserts him, and he is unable to charge the Lady of Lothlorien. A Ringwraith attempts to Transfix Glorfindel, but the Lord of the West shrugs off the grasping wisps of magic and continues unhindered. Racing to the aid of the other members of the Council, no less than three Good heroes arrive, Erestor, Celeborn and Thranduil. Erestor and Celeborn appear on the East board edge, while Thranduil arrives from the west. Summoning her Will, Arwen attempts to cast Natures Wrath, but unfortunately for her, it fails with barely a rumble. Also having magical troubles this turn, Radagast fails to Immobilize one of the spiders. Perhaps there were just too many legs... Breaking the streak of bad luck, Saruman levels his staff and a wave of energy flattens the spider, its twitching legs coming permanently to rest.

Celeborn spends a point of Will and the Necromancer finds himself Immobilized. This turns evil reinforcements appear in the form of a Ringwraith and a further two Castellans. The wraith looses a piercing shriek and a bolt of black energy streaks from his hand and strikes Elrond. However Fate is with the elf lord, and he spends one Fate point to avoid the wound. On the other side of the field, a spider assails Gandalf, but is beaten back, though the wizard fails to land a telling blow.
Galadriel joins with Legolas to engage the immobilized Necromancer, with Legolas scoring a wound against the malignant spirit. The Necromancer is driven back and is forced to expend three points of Will to avoid the wound. His earlier confidence beginning to slip away along with his expended Will points.

Turn 6 - Good
Chagrined at the Good force's lock on priority, a Ringwraith calls a Heroic Move. Gandalf attempts to contest, but is unable to beat the undead sorcerer. Having won the roll-off, the wraith attempts to Transfix Celeborn, but the Lord of Lothlorien resists the spell. The Necromancer is more successful, Elrond being frozen in place from his Transfix spell. The Troll Chieftain and a Castellan charge Glorfindel, the elf standing resolute beneath the hulking bulk of the troll.
Getting back priority, Saruman tries to Immobilize a wraith, but it breaks free with a shrill cry.
Emerging from the shadows of the mausoleum and tower, another Wraith and Castellan arrive. The wraith immediately casts Sap Will on Radagast, but the Brown Wizard is able to resist the effects of the spell. Thranduil nocks an arrow to his bow, but the shaft bounces off the animated armor of a castellan with no effect. His son fares little better, as his arrow also fails to find purchase on the shifting form of the Necromancer. Arwen drives back a wraith, but her blade slices only his robe. A spider rears up to crush Celeborn, but he spends a point of Might and neatly cuts it in half, its ichorous blood staining his sword.
Nearby, his wife defeats a ringwraith, who is forced to spend a point of Fate to avoid banishment. Continuing the success, Erestor's glittering knives find a chink in a Castellans armor, and the automaton is forced to use a point of Will. In a dazzling display of swordsmanship, Glorfindel defeats the Troll Chieftain and his Castellan ally, though his blade is defeated by the trolls armor.

Turn 7 - Evil
Finally getting Priority for the first time in four turns, evil is poised to strike when Saruman calls a Heroic Move. Unwilling to lose his chance, the Necromancer contests and wins the roll-off. A wraith tries to Transfix Glorfindel, but the spell fails. One of his fellows has slightly more success, his spell wrapping Galadriel in its dark fog, but she spends two Will and scatters the dark energy. The Necromancer has no such trouble, his spell freezing Celeborn in his tracks. With a roar, a troll bursts from the tower, followed closely by Khamul, and a second wraith drifts from the mausoleum. One of the wraiths tries to Transfix Elrond, but his Will is insufficient and the spell fails. Khamul emits a ghastly scream and Elrond is unable to resist the effects of another Transfix spell. Arwen stands her ground unflinching as a pair of ringwraiths stride up to her, ancient blades held firmly in mailed fists.
Radagast attempts to Immobilize the Troll Chieftain, but showing surprising fortitude, the troll manages to resist the spell. Saruman attempts to cast Sorcerous Blast on one of the wraiths, but his spell is also foiled. Gandalf is also beset with bad luck and his own attempt to blast the Necromancer fails. Thranduil and Legolas both shoot, but there arrows are unable to pierce the armor of their targets. Despite fighting valiantly, Arwen is struck down and slain by the hungry blades of the wraiths, and somewhere a young Aragorn starts to weep. A Castellan defeats Erestor, but the elf is able to avoid anything more than superficial harm.
A few feet away, Galadriel defeats a wraith and castellan, though she is unable to cause any lasting harm. Summoning everything he can, Elrond manages to overcome the castellan assailing him despite the effects of the spell on him. Attempting to parry an attack from another Castellan, Glorfindel is unable to avoid a savage blow from the Troll Chieftain, and takes three wounds. Fortunately Fate is with the noble elf, and after spending all of his, he is left with a single wound.

Turn 8 - Evil
With Evil retaining priority this turn, Radagast calls a Heroic Move and wins the roll-off against a ringwraith. Gandalf follows suit and also wins his roll-off. Seizing their opportunity, Cirdan casts Aura of Dismay and Thranduil casts Natures Wrath, which the forces of evil are unable to resist and everyone nearby is bowled over in spectacular fashion.
Saruman attempts to cast Sorcerous Blast on the Necromancer, but is unable to conjure his Will sufficiently. Similarly, Radagast's powers desert him and his Renew spell on Glorfindel fails to have any effect. Erestor attempts to charge the Necromancer, but finds his spirit chilled at the sight of the malignant shade, and is unable to command his legs. Glorfindel suffers no such problems as he leaps past the prone wraiths and the Troll Chieftain, still struggling to rise and engages the Necromancer.
Legolas again fails to wound the Necromancer with an arrow, the shaft speeding through the immaterial wisps of his robes. The troll defeats Cirdan, but in an amazing display of ineptitude, rolls three 1's to wound. Celeborn and Galadriel each defeat a wraith and a castellan, but are unable to wound them. Another castellan defeats Elrond, but the elf is able to parry the attack. Thranduil defeats a wraith, but despite the wraith being prone on the ground, he cannot land a blow. Glorfindel's blade pierces the dark shadows surrounding the Necromancer, and the Dark Lord is forced to expend another point of Will to avoid taking a wound.

Turn 9 - Good
With Good regaining priority, one of the wraith's calls a Heroic Move. A Transfix spell from another wraith freezes Thranduil in his tracks. Gandalf successfully Comands the Necromancer, forcing him to come out into the open from behind his troll bodyguard. Another shot from Legolas fails to do any harm to the Necromancer. Thranduil spends one Might point to overcome a pair of wraiths, while a wraith and castellan defeat Radagast, but their blades only add new tears to the wizards cloak.
Khamul defeats Saruman and his blade finds it's mark, causing a wound and staining the white robes with red.

Elrond throws off the attacks of a wraith and castellan, though his blade clangs harmlessly against their armor. Glorfindel similarly drives back the Troll Chieftain and a castellan, but is unable to hurt either one.
In an ominous portent of things to come, Erestor defeats a wraith in combat, and the wraith vanishes with a piercing shriek as it uses up its remaining Will. Galadriel drives back the Necromancer, the Dark Lord shying away from the wrath of the Lady. Unfortunately, the troll made up for the last turn and smashes Cirdan with a mighty blow from his war hammer, killing the shipwright instantly.

Turn 10 - Good
Retaining priority, Saruman wastes no time in Immobilizing the Necromancer before he can retreat further. Khamul spends a point of Will to increase his attacks, but is unable to defeat Saruman again, though Saruman is likewise unable to harm the Lieutenant. Nearby, a Castellan and a wraith defeat Radagast. THe blade of the wraith finds it's mark, but Fate is with the Brown Wizard, and the wound turns out to be only superficial. The Troll Chieftain turns his attention to Thranduil, and a massive blow from his sword leaves the Woodland King with no Fate, and only one wound.
Glorfindel fights off a wraith and a castellan, but perhaps distracted by Thranduil's blood, is unable to harm either opponent. Elrond is also unable to score a strike, defeating another wraith and castellan pair.
Celeborn expends a Might point to defeat a Castellan, who then is banished trying to prevent a wound. Gandalf defeats the troll, stunning him so much he forgets to strike. In a showdown epic enough for the movies, Galadriel faces down the Necromancer and defeats him in combat.
With the last of his Will expended facing the Lady of the Golden Wood, there is a blast of noxious wind as the Necromancer's spirit flees his collapsing body. The remaining forces of evil lose heart and attempt to flee back into the forest before the vengeful elves can catch and slay them all. The cost is high, but the forces of Good stand triumphant on the field. But the nagging question remains, for how long?

Here, the survivors take a few moments out from mopping up the remaining resistance for a team picture. It was quite a fun battle, and took longer than I had thought. I think part of it was that I failed to remember that a lot of the evil army had to burn through quite a bit of Will before they would vaporize. There was also a lot more spell flinging back and forth than usual, which was fun too. This concludes our Fall of the Necromancer campaign, and on the whole I enjoyed it. It will be nice though to get back to making custom armies again (creating an army is half the fun!). Not sure when the next battle will be, but will need to start thinking of ideas. I apologize for the blurriness of many of the pictures. Been using my phone, as it seems to handle up close shots better, but still getting the hang of it. Anyway, hope you've enjoyed the battle report :)

1 comment:

  1. Great read, very enjoyable. Always the problem for the evil forces, they are strong to start, but simply wear out over time...