Four prophecies were given,
Four Wizards foretold,
Only one can reap true,
For the Wizard most bold
Our final game of the Dark Prophecy campaign is at hand. Four wizards vie for the fulfillment of an ancient prophecy. Their journey has led them deep into Felstad, to a great towering spire, and into the depths of a labyrinthine tomb.
For this complicated scenario, we featured multiple boards stacked on each other for a more immersive 3D experience. The details of the scenario can be found here. I won’t go into the details again but the gist was that we would start in the corners of the upper board, find our prophecies in the library underneath, and then need to ascend the tower above to complete the scenario. We would not run a turn timer on this scenario to give each wizard ample time to try to complete their prophecy. The scenario would either end with all the wizards fleeing the battlefield or defeated or as soon as a wizard fulfilled their prophecy.
Even though I had the entrances still in the library, there are no exits from the maze except through the well spots (little dot stickers matching the wells from the upper level of the board).
Reese’s warband won the roll off and after we placed treasures, he set up in the Southwest corner, mainly because his stuff was already set up there.
Colton took the opposite corner with his summoner band. I think he liked the open field, allowing him plenty of sight lines to get his demons and archers into play.
I had third setup and took a look at the options. I decided the other open side would work well as it still afforded some coverage. The other side was walled off with a very protected but restrictive choke point and I didn’t think it would be easy to get out of the that zone.
Sean was stuck in the walled off corner and immediately realized why I left it alone. Not only would it be slow getting through the choke point, his closest well was a bit farther in on the board than the others. He was going to have his work cut out for him.
The board is now setup from my perspective. Sean’s walled off forces directly opposite me with Reese on my left and Colton on my right.
I won initiative and saw that my board position was even better than I imagined. I had a well within easy reach of most of my warband so I took my wizard Therelin and two treasure hunters down into the depths. My apprentice and three warhounds soon followed me down.
Reese’s position was also nice and soon he dropped his wizard and three soldiers down into the library.
While Sean’s initial placement was less than ideal, he still had tricks up his sleeve with a Reveal Secret spell that he got off, guaranteeing him a treasure at the start.
Colton’s warband started a slow and methodical approach while fanning out his archers. I wasn’t paying too much attention to that side of the board yet since my main competition was Reese’s wizard band. I later found out that I missed that he had his thieves running full speed for treasures before getting down into the library.
With my remaining band, I fanned out as well with my thief running a little bit ahead to climb the close ruined tower for the treasure there.
Reese won the initiative and sent his soldiers out to gather prophecy pieces while his wizard moved deeper into the maze to secure the final prophecy piece. In addition to having the first two pieces of his prophecy solved, he also was getting max gold results from his book case finds.
When people heard how much loot Reese was earning, everyone started making a beeline to the library as soon as they could.
Reese’s upper level exploits had him securing the nearest treasure and securing the nearby font… from some reason. His apprentice and gun line took up the top parapet and started harassing Sean’s forces.
Which wasn’t particularly nice as he’d just had everyone file out into a killing zone. He was now at the well and could start runners hitting the candy store-like library.
As mentioned, Colton’s forces may have been slow to approach the library (he has a single magic weapon on a thief and knows that the wraiths down there aren’t to be messed with), his upper level forces were dominating. His thief had made it to the far treasure with some back up archers while his lower level forces started also harassing Sean’s warband.
On the main floor, Colton also had a demon brigade going while Sean fogged up to prevent any more summonings coming his way. Sean’s blue warhound ran out to mess with the thief that was trying to get the treasure but it was just a stalling tactic as it was surrounded by enemy forces. But hey, that is what those cheap hounds are for.
Speaking of warhounds, a trio of my finest started harassing one of the library wraiths to keep it distracted from my wizard. My treasure hunters went after the book cases and I too found hints of my prophecy…
Fill your cup with the essence of a portal …
…and ascend the Silent Spire and face North…
With the knowledge of my task at hand, I sent my minions out to go find the portal and gather the necessary requirements. My thief and crossbowmen started ascending the squat tower with a nice treasure hidden inside.
Sean’s forces descended on Colton’s Demon but were beaten back. With the warhound gone, Colton was able to secure the hotly contested treasure and start carting it back. Since Colton’s wizard eschewed such rudimentary spells as “leap” or “telekinesis,” he had to earn that treasure legitimately and schlep it back all the home. The demon was the real MVP in this fight as he blocked the main choke point and allowed the thief to escape. The loss of one his few treasure options had Sean commit most of his resources to the fight in retaliation.
But Sean couldn’t do that with Reese’s gun line plinking down at him so he threw up a wall of fog to cover his flank.
Staying up top, I see that Colton has already gotten his other treasure thief off the wall with the other treasure. To make sure I don’t have a gun line on my side sniping me, I send out new bear, Bear, to get in striking distance to mess with the archers should they think I’m an easy target.
My team also engages a spawn demon and tries to get access to a treasure. My thief would eventually get beat down by the puny spawn demon but eventually over power the little devil. The Crossbowmen (illegally) stole the treasure while the battle raged on between the two foes. The thief eventually made it out of there with a single life remaining.
We’re deep in round four and Reese and Colton know the objects of their prophecy. Reese was lucky enough to be right near the font and has his soldier get a cup of holy water. Colton is also right next to his object, brew from the witch’s cauldron, and get his as well. They are well underway to fulfilling their prophecy though neither wizard is close to getting their final instruction.
Zombear, by the way, has slowly but surely marched across the battlefield, hauling ass (literally) the whole way. Every time he goes out, he finds another spawn demon in his path to get to the portal and he just tears them apart. Mutt unlives! Meanwhile, new bear goes to stop Colton’s archers from taking off with the witch’s brew. I knew old bear and you, sir, are not him… Bear falls quickly to a particularly vicious archer, first arrowed in the face and then a quick critical blow with a knife. So disappointing.
While the battle rages topside, my wizard and team grab the rest of the prophecy:
Spill your cup on the ground and create a glyph of summoning.
The Warhounds eventually lost a member but my treasure hunter Rupee came in and helped to defeat the wraith. The other wraiths scattered after other prey.
Reese was also able to grab his final prophetic instruction but a wraith dogged his path and he had to hide deeper in the labyrinth to avoid meeting its ire.
Even though more spawn demons lay in his path Mutt, the Zombear just mows them down and has almost reached the portal. While the rest of the wizards are distracted by the plentiful rewards of the library, my team makes it out of the underworld to see if we can prove our prophecy to be the one that rings true.
Frustrated that his charge failed and he started losing soldiers left and right, Sean decides to take a different approach to the Demon- unbind it from its controller. It is a difficult spell for his apprentice to pull off but the Gods are finally with him and he successfully dispels the geas.
This is a complete reversal of fortune for Colton as his strongest ally now has a taste for revenge.
The demon turns on Colton’s apprentice and slaughters her easily. Archer soldiers are too little, too late but keep the demon occupied while Colton secrets off his two thiefs, laden down with precious treasure. The turn of fortune isn’t what Sean wanted completely (as he really wanted that treasure) but an apprentice out of action is never a bad result either.
Down below, Reese is in trouble. One particular wraith has not been pleased with how much looting his soldiers have been able to commit. It destroyed one soldier already, sucking the very life force from his body. Now it was after a second one and this soldier had found a very nice Fate Stone.
By this point, we were in round eight and my wizard and apprentice made it topside to find the grounds mostly barren. The war between Colton and Sean had taken its toll and both sides were in various stages of retreat. Colton had made it off with his two treasures (a record for his little band) and Sean had given up on the prophecy and turned to looting as much as he could below while salvaging his topside forces for another day.
Even though Reese’s topside soldier had the prophetic object, his wizard sorely wanted the Fate Stone and so he waited for an opening and blasted the troublesome wraith away. This secured his remaining soldier and the precious cargo.
Colton’s archers were on a roll as one single-handedly defeats a demon. It is a Pyrrhic victory as the apprentice is bleeding out and most of the rest of his band is scattered off the map.
The rounds start to speed up in our longest game (currently in round ten) as most of the heavy weights are dead or off the map and the soldiers are all heading home as well.
I’m not though! I’ve got a prophecy to fulfill. My treasure hunter heel and toed it over with Mutt (with some boosts from a well timed Leap spell) and helped the zombear with the procurement of the required prophecy component: the essence of gateway portal.
Reese’s apprentice takes out Sean’s meddlesome archer and helps cover his wizard and remaining underground soldiers as they make their way topside. At this point, Reese has his prophetic object but the only path his wizard has to the top of the tower is through a lot of my soldiers. He is more content with all his loot so he covers more of his retreat to get off the map.
Colton’s wizard finally acquires his last piece of the prophecy but is so far away that it will take him some time to try to complete it.
My team reunites at the base of the silent spire and, with the necessary components collected, Therelin starts her ascent. With most everyone in retreat or too far behind to catch up, we say that wizards can climb the tower at normal speed (we actually called this out earlier as we figured it would take 3+ rounds of climbing to get to the top and no one wanted to sit around for that).
Round twelve finds Therelin, my wizard, atop the silent spire. She commits the final action of the game and completes the prophecy:
A wizard of two minds will gather the essence of the gateway between worlds. When they reach the pinnacle of the Silent Spire, they will call forth the conflict between themselves and end the internal strife.
Using the essence of the magical portal, Therelin summons forth her doppleganger and must battle it to end the prophecy. The battle goes badly and the doppleganger quickly defeats Therelin, killing her and ending the Dark Prophecy…
~ Epilogue ~
My wizard died in the fight at the top of the spire but ended up surviving the casualty roll at the end of the game. I had made the rewards for all the third prophecy components in advance of the game. Basically all the prophecies would have a high risk of death but as long as the wizard either survived or survived the casualty roll at the end of the game, they’d get a unique reward for their sacrifice.
In my case, I will have an illusionary soldier of my wizard at the start of every game from now on. The illusionary soldier will have the same stats as my wizard but will otherwise follow all the rules of the spell of the same name (one life point, can’t cast spells, can’t carry treasure, etc).
While I’m sorry the other players didn’t get a chance to get their prophecy fulfilled (there can be only one), the randomness of my prophecy completion actually works really well for the story arc narrative I had running in my head for Therelin. I have a lot of new ideas for what this will mean for Therelin and company and it sounds like everyone else was pretty happy with their loot and the end of our first campaign.
The plan will be to start up again and allow players to either continue on with their current wizards or start a new warband and wizard as we create the next campaign arc. We’ll also open up the source material to any and all books so we can get into even more trouble.
While it may seem self-serving, I had a lot of fun with this scenario and all the games we’ve been running of Frostgrave. I can’t wait to see where the next games take us.