_Games Workshop_, _Warhammer Quest_, _Advanced HeroQuest_, _Talisman_, _Warhammer Fantasy Battle_, _Battle Magic_, the _Old World_, _Ulthuan_, _Altdorf_, _Knights Panther_ and _Skaven_ are trademarks of Games Workshop, Ltd. Their use here does not constitute a legal challenge to that status.
This article is copyright 1995 by T. Jordan "Greywolf" Peacock. It may be freely distributed in unaltered form so long as proper credit is given, and no fees are charged for its use.
[This adventure makes reference to special floor plans. The site on which they were located is no longer in operation.]
This is an adventure for 4 Warriors with an average Battle-Level of 2. If you have a party of 5 Warriors, monsters in encounters listed should be increased by 50%. (i.e. an encounter of 4 monsters would become 6 monsters instead). If you have a party of 6 Warriors, monsters in encounters listed should be increased by 100%. (i.e. an encounter of 4 monsters would become 8 monsters instead). For parties larger than this, or with greatly varying Battle-Levels, GM discretion is, of course, required.
One of the adventurers has been designated by a Hierophant of the Jade College as being the "chosen one" to undertake a quest to a remote, abandoned menhir circle, to perform a ritual that will bring fertility to the land for the next decade. The other Warriors, of course, are expected to assist their comrade, as the woods in this rocky valley have been overrun by the "Children of Chaos": Beastmen.
As this happens above ground, this isn't quite like the standard dungeon romp, as the areas are certainly more wide-open, but for purposes of this adventure, things are not greatly impacted -- The undergrowth is rather thick here, so for all intents and purposes each clearing is distinct as a "room".
As this happens above-ground, there are special rules that apply for this adventure. "Greywolf's Outdoors House Rules" don't necessarily apply here, as this is being played on regular floorplans, albeit in an "outdoors" setting.
Spaces that are covered by "trees" represented wooded areas. Any movement which takes a model into or out of a space covered by a tree, or between spaces covered by trees, costs 2 Move points rather than the normal 1. (You can't move a "half space". If a model only has, say, 1 point of Move left, it can't be used to move through, into or out of a wooded area.)
It is only possible to see two spaces into wooded areas. While it is possible to target a model on the other side of a one-square "tree", it would not be possible to target models with ranged attacks past any wooded area thicker than that. (GM discretion is required, of course.)
Death blows are not possible if the Warrior is standing in a wooded area or is attacking a model in a wooded area, as interposing trees will block the swing of the weapon.
Wood Elves (such as the Elf Warrior), Rangers (such as the Elf Ranger), Druids, Shamans and Halflings (plus any Warrior with "Forest-Walker" skill) may move through wooded areas without any penalty to movement. (i.e. They only require 1 Move point for each space to move through, whether wooded or open.) This also applies to certain forest creatures, such as Giant (and Gigantic) Spiders.
Flying creatures are not restricted in movement by woods, of course.
The river is too deep and fast to wade or swim across, and since it is two spaces wide (except for a point near the waterfall), the Elf cannot use the Leap skill to simply jump across. (If the Warriors decide not to try to cross at the bridge, other options might include felling a tree to cross the river, for instance.)
The pond is too deep to wade through. A Warrior for whatever reason may try to swim through, if he is not encumbered with armor. However, he moves at half his normal Move rate (as with moving through Woods), and may not make any attacks, cast any spells or take any other special actions while in the water. He may choose to "dive" under the water to avoid ranged attacks and attacks from flyers, though, making him effectively impossible to hit by such attacks. The water is perfect protection against fire-based spells, but not other magical attacks.
Cliffs and sheer slopes are represented by areas of dark brown (with shadows nearby suggesting their height) criss-crossed with lines to roughly suggest the contour. These can be found at the Waterfall (#30) and the Menhir Circle (#29). These are steep surfaces and represent a barrier to movement.
The tiers at the Menhir Circle are stepped such that it is possible for combatants at adjacent levels to attack each other, though they cannot pin each other, and no Death Blows are possible when attacking another level. The Elf's "Leap" skill can be used to move one space up to a higher (or lower) tier. It is also possible to climb a tier, treating this as a 10' climb.
With the rope, climbing up one tier (a 10' climb) takes a full turn. Without the rope, this still takes a full turn, but also requires an Initiative test for climbing. On a failed roll, the Warrior falls, taking 1D6+2 Wounds damage.
The cliffs at the Waterfall represent a climb of 30'. This is too high for the Elf's Leap skill to traverse. If a Warrior has the rope, it will take a total of 3 turns to climb all of the way up. For a Warrior without the rope, it will take the same amount of time, but an Initiative test is required at each step of the way. Failure indicates a fall, causing 1D6+2 Wounds for each 10' fallen.
There is no way for anyone at the top and bottom of the cliff to attack each other with hand-to-hand attacks, though ranged attacks may be used against or by anyone at the very edge of the top of the cliff.
Thick underbrush serves the role of "walls" for each of these outdoors "rooms". However, if the Warriors have access to the spell "Wings of Power", or some other means of flight, it could be conceivable that the trees could be simply flown over. ("Levitate" won't suffice for this, as it only takes a Warrior straight up or down. It would be, however, ideal for getting past the cliffs or tiers, if desired.) This spell may be used to move a Warrior from room to room straight over the "walls" formed by the underbrush. However, if this movement takes the Warrior completely out of the map area, then he gets lost in the valley, disoriented by the steep slopes, overabundance of trees, etc. and is effectively out of play until the Warriors head back to a Settlement. (Before letting someone do this, though, be sure to indicate that it looks like they're about to fly out of the vicinity of the place they're supposed to be looking for.)
There are plenty of places to hide here in the forest. Any Warriors with the Ambush skill gain +1 on their Ambush rolls.
Druids gain +1 to their Current Power each turn while in the forest (i.e. for the entirety of this adventure). Shamans do not suffer the normal penalty to Current Power and Reserve Power for being in a dungeon, since they are presently in "the wild" for this adventure.
Among the Colleges of Altdorf, the Jade College is one of the most bizarre sights, as the Druids that study there do not live in a building of stone. Rather, the College is constructed by gigantic trees melded together and transformed by the powers of magic into a living citadel.
Not all Druids, however, live in Altdorf. Although one cannot escape nature in the Jade College of Altdorf, there is still an air of artificiality about it that disturbs some Druids who are more content to seek out the natural beauty of the Old World, tending toward the expansive forests which cover most of the land. There are many remote locales where the standing stones (known as menhirs) of the Druids can be found in magic circles, aligned according to the stars and the poles, used in mysterious rituals. Anyone who visits these places can faintly feel the tingle of magic in the air, though its power cannot be harnessed easily -- It generally requires very special rituals and the convergence of various heavenly bodies at rare times during the year.
Many of these rituals that the Druids concern themselves with are meant to bring fertility to the surrounding land, so that plant life -- whether wild or cultivated -- may blossom and grow. It suits the Druids well to work with the earth in this way, for they draw their power from the life forces abundant in nature ... and it certainly suits any nearby farmers, who need every bit of help they can get to bring forth a harvest from the soil!
While searching for new adventures, the Warriors happened into a valley where some of these Druids have established a presence, led by an ancient Druid known as a "Hierophant". During an audience with the Warriors, this Hierophant revealed to the Warriors that their travel through this valley was no accident at all -- indeed, it had been predestined, for one of their number has been selected by the powers that be to perform a special ritual which will ensure bountiful harvests in this land for a decade to come. This will require this brave Warrior to venture into a secluded part of the valley forest, to an ancient circle of standing stones ... and to perform the sacred ritual despite the wretched Beastmen that have overrun this part of the woods.
If the Warriors accomplish this task, they will be rewarded 100 gold each for their efforts, and the chosen Warrior will surely be greatly enriched by his special role.
However, the time for the ritual draws nigh, and there is precious little time to lose!
One of the Warriors should be nominated as the "Chosen One" -- the one who is required to perform the ritual in the center of the standing stones and thus to complete the adventure successfully. This "ritual" is fairly straightforward, as the Warrior has but to place some special unguents concocted of mistletoe and berries along the ridges that form the "spiral coil" run of the Jade College in the center of the standing stones ... and then to pour out some blessed water over the surface to release the power of the circle.
This Chosen One, therefore, will be given two special items: the unguents and the vial of blessed water. Each step in the ritual takes a full turn, during which the Warrior may not do anything else, and no enemies must be adjacent to the Warrior while he attempts to perform this ritual. (If they are, they will simply thwart his attempts to carefully place the unguents and pour the water, preventing him from doing so for that turn.) Furthermore, the Chosen One must be the /only/ one in the Jade circle. No fellow Warriors may stand in the circle as well. And, if that were not enough, no magical items may be present anywhere within the standing stones, or they will disrupt the ceremony.
When determining the "Chosen One", pick the weakest Warrior in the group -- If you have trouble determining this, pick among the Warriors with the lowest Battle-Level in the group, and the least gold (though magical items and equipment should be taken into consideration as well). This serves a two-fold purpose. First of all, it makes the adventure more of a cooperative challenge, as the Warriors must make sure that their weaker comrade survives in order to complete the adventure. Secondly, this may provide an opportunity to close the gap between the Warriors by allowing one who is a bit "behind" to have a chance to "catch up" if he is successful in this adventure.
You will need Floorplans #19 (two copies), and #25 - #30 for the layout for this adventure. The following is a rough map to show how these should be positioned in relation to each other.
(Note: Room "19" actually consists of two copies of Floorplan #19, arranged together to form one extra-large room. #25 is an Objective Room (4x8), while the remaining rooms are Over-Size Rooms (6x8).)
.----. (not to scale) | | | 30 | | | `D--D' D = Doorway .---..D--D..----. | || || | |25 DD 27 DD 26 | | || || | `---'`D--D'`--D-' .D--D..--D- ----. | || | | 28 DD 19a 19b| | || | `----'`---- --D-' .--D-. | | | 29 | | | `----'
Aside from the floorplans mentioned, you will also need the monsters supplied in the Warhammer Quest boxed set, as well as a ready supply of Beastmen. Milton Bradley's discontinued "Battle Masters" game is a good supply of Beastmen (though you'd need to buy bases separately), or else Citadel manufactures a number of Beastman models -- including some plastics available in packs of 10.
Otherwise, you can just use the Skaven from the boxed set to represent the Beastmen -- so long as you warn the Warriors! =)
When a 1 is rolled during the Power Phase, roll 1D6 and consult the following chart to see what is encountered:
Roll Result 1 1D6+2 Beastmen attack (see p. 86 of the Roleplay Book) 2 2D6 Giant Spiders attack 3 1 Minotaur attacks 4 1 Beastman Champion attacks 5 1D3 Minotaurs attack 6 Nothing happens
Although the numbers don't represent order, each room will be referred to here by its floorplan number, rather than a sequential "room number" applicable to this adventure. The Warriors will start in room #25, on the winding forest path, at the "north" (upper) side of the board.
"A winding valley trail cuts through the forest, branching off not too far ahead. Taking the trail to the north or continuing all the way to the south will take you back out of the valley and to safety, but far away from your quest. The path to the east, however, leads into a thicker, more overgrown part of the woods. The trees there close in, shrouding the woodland floor in shadow, and you can see many glowing eyes peeking out at you. In the distance, you hear a guttural bellow that turns into a roar -- the angry call of a Beastman!"
4 Beastmen emerge from the trees, once the Warriors have entered, all armed with spears. (Statistics can be found on p. 86 of the Roleplay Book.) If the Warriors defeat the Beastmen, they will find one item of treasure (draw a Treasure Card) carried by what appears to be the leader of the bunch (though he had no superior statistics).
The "fallen log" across the trail is actually part of a devious trap set by the Beastmen to waylay travellers. If any Warrior should step in this space, unless someone has a special Avoid Traps ability (such as the Thief), he will be struck as a couple of spiked logs smash together, inflicting 2D6 Wounds, ignoring armor. (The Elf's "Dodge" skill may be used for a chance of evading the attack, but otherwise it automatically hits.) Any Beastman who steps in the space will not set off the trap, knowing its location.
"You hear the rush of running water, and catch a glimpse of a roaring river among the trees, with a rickety wooden bridge spanning its breadth."
It is not possible to swim across the river, nor leap across or wade across. However, the bridge, while appearing rickety, poses no particular hazard in and of itself, and may be crossed normally.
The main problem with this room, though, is that there are another 6 Beastmen waiting in this area, and 3 Minotaurs just on the other side of the bridge. If any Warrior starts across the bridge immediately, he will have to end his movement at the edge of the bridge, as the Minotaur will immediately move to block him.
The Beastmen are well hidden, and unless the Warriors have received advance warning of their presence (such as by having a Warrior levitate up to peek over the trees, having the Ranger use his tracking ability, using "Second Sight", etc.) they gain the unusual advantage of being able to Ambush the Warriors automatically. (This does not apply for any Unexpected Events that occur here -- just this particular group of Beastmen.) The Minotaurs are a bit unnerved by the bridge, and will not cross unless the Warriors start making ranged attacks at a distance, taking pot shots at them. Despite their large size, they are indeed capable of making it across the bridge without incident. Any area effect blast spell, though, such as Fireball, will destroy the bridge if its area of effect covers at least one of the bridge squares. Any model on the bridge at the time of its collapse is out of play (though no gold is gained for killing it). Any Warriors on the bridge are swept away -- not killed, but out of play until the Warriors return to a Settlement.
The Beastmen and Minotaurs each have their own treasure items, making for a total of two possible Treasure Cards in this room.
If the bridge should be destroyed for whatever reason, it is possible that the Warriors could try some other means of fording the river, such as by felling a tree. GM discretion should be used here, based on how much thought the Warriors are putting into the task. (If their plans are summarized by "Let's just cut down a tree and go across" without any further planning, then they should all be subject to Initiative tests with a target roll of 9 as they try to go across, any failures resulting in a quick ride down the river and out of the adventure. If, however, they put some planning into it, the Warriors should eventually prevail, without having to rely on random chance for success.)
"Following the river upstream, you come to a cascade of water that crashes downward, after a plunge of about 30 feet by your estimation, disappearing into a white spray."
The cliffs can be climbed with a rope at a rate of 10' per turn (for a total of 30' to climb). See the notes earlier in this article about cliffs and steep slopes.
At the top of the cliff are 4 Beastmen Archers, each armed with longbows capable of inflicting 1D6+4 Wounds per hit. They will of course gladly take pot shots at any Warriors who wander into range. Other than the hazard they present, there are no special treasures to be found here, though the narrow point in the river here might present an easier opportunity for fording (or for the Elf to use the Leap skill, if he has it, to leap across).
"The river continues southward here, turning into white-water even further on, where it disappears from sight, winding into an even thicker part of the forest full of impenetrable undergrowth. Across the river, though, you see a gap in the trees."
No monsters will appear here to encounter the heroes, aside from Unexpected Events.
"The path is almost overgrown here, winding around a calm, crystal-clear pool of water, to turn toward the south. Although this would seem to be an ideal spot for woodland animals to be found, drinking at the pool, you see no sign of tracks. You do, however, find an overabundance of large webs spanning the branches of the trees overhead."
12 Giant Spiders drop on the Warriors here. If they are defeated, they don't carry a convenient little treasure. However, buried within their webs (if the Warriors burn them away first), is a treasure cache of 300 gold left over from their previous victims.
"The trail disappears entirely here, and all is silent. Under the dark canopy of the overhanging branches, you spot many reddish gleams in the inhuman eyes of your enemies, who have been lying in wait for you!"
8 Beastmen, led by a Beastman Champion, appear, ready to attack the Warriors. They have every intention of preventing the Warriors from reaching the Menhir Circle, so they will leave at least two Beastmen blocking the exit leading to that area if possible.
"The trees clear away, revealing a large mound in the center of a wide clearing. It is surrounded by large stone slabs, and a winding trail that leads up to its summit. At its peak, you hear a chanting sound, and see another one of those Beastmen -- this one adorned with color feathers and streaked with patterns drawn in blood -- dancing about, no doubt casting some unholy spell."
A Beastman Shaman stands at the top of the mound, intending to draw upon the Menhir Circle's power to cast an evil enchantment. However, upon the Warriors' arrival, he will be forced to deal with them first. (See p. 86 for Beastman Shaman statistics and spells.) There are also 6 Beastmen armed with bows who will appear once the Warriors have been placed.
If any Unexpected Events occur in this room, the monsters will be placed on the "ground level" of this room. (Thus, if a Warrior is up at the top attempting to do this ritual, he won't have new monsters continually popping up next to him.) However, if you roll a 6 for determining what sort of monster shows up, rather than having nothing at all, 1D6 Beastmen will appear.
The menhirs block line of sight for any models standing at the same level, and they block any death blows going through the space, but they do not block movement.
The Warriors are victorious if the Chosen One in the party succeeds in performing the ritual (i.e. having two uninterrupted turns to apply the unguents and then pour the blessed water). Once the Warriors get back to civilization (They'll have to get out of the forest first!), they each receive 100 gold. However, the Chosen One also has his Luck characteristic permanently increased by 1, reflecting the blessing he has received from the Hierophant for undergoing this journey. He also is given an additional 200 gold for his part.
If the "Chosen One" is killed before this ritual is completed, then the quest is forfeit. Other than the opportunity to kill more monsters for the experience/gold, they gain nothing by completing the adventure, as none of them can complete the ritual. However, the Beastman Shaman, if left alive, will cast a spell that will twist and wither the forest in the countryside, causing great damage to the region, and allowing it to be overrun by the Beastmen. If that should happen, then the Warriors will have to travel further to find a Settlement, adding 2 weeks to their journey time.