The Baked Apple: Act IV complete, campaign end

We’ve completed the fourth act of our Age of Fantasy: Skirmish campaign – The Baked Apple. We’ve also decided to finish our campaign. Read on to see a few notes on how the whole thing went down!

Quick links:

  1. Beginning of campaign and warband backstories
  2. Act I completed
  3. Act II completed
  4. Act III completed
  5. Act IV completed, campaign end

Last battle of Weizenhof – Aschegrube

It was flying through the air. Or, so it seemed. 

Flying shouldn’t be that painful – birds didn’t seem to be in pain all the time. But that wasn’t the only thing that was wrong. 

When it landed with a loud CRACK! a few things became clear. Firstly, it was a made out of bones. That was new… but also not new.

Secondly, that wasn’t flying, that was being tossed by an angry troll. 

Lastly, there were ghosts in this place of ashes.

With an inaudible and unbelievable sigh – it didn’t have lungs to make a sound nor actually any glands to trigger frustration – the skeleton reassembled itself and trundled heavily towards the roaring troll. 

Their meeting was rather anticlimactic, though – a sudden ghastly explosion from a nearby well separated the combatants, with both the troll and the skeleton retreating, in awe of what happened. Their leaders – cheeky, colourful goblin clad in a yellow cloak adorned with feathers and a stately, old skeleton king – sounded for the retreat, for even these chaotic warbands couldn’t deal with the souls of Weizenhof’s dead and fallen. 

===

While Empty the Wolf had its own fair share of goblins for supper, including some of its past riders, these yellow-clad gits were something new entirely. Empty (called that because once she emptied a whole chicken coop in one night) tried as best as she could, but the usual bite and scamper wasn’t working. With her pack leader’s rider down, the leading female sounded the retreat. Empty followed, as she always did, wondering who the next rider would be and how bad would it smell.

Why did it seem to her that she saw ghosts of hens she suffocated that very night?

===

The halflings were crying. They tried, they really did, but not only Weizenhof was burned to the ground, but also they didn’t manage to find their last remaining underground larder, so deep were the piles of ashes. Out of spite and helplessness they picked up a piece of charred wood and daubed “ASCHEGRUBE” – Ash Pit – on it. They stuck it on a pole and hoisted in what they thought was the former town centre.

With that and nothing else to do, they collected their meagre belongings and set off to Apfelgipfel, hoping to receive aid. There was a pang of anger in them, for Apfelgipfel did not give succour to them when they wanted to avenge Weizenhof. Pragmatic as they were, they knew it’s better to get a full belly first and only then take revenge on the goblins, wolfs, undead and weird armour-clad soldiers from abroad. 

Later on, some told tales of ghostly pies and jams of marmalade they saw in Aschegrube. These were just maudlin dreams of a just defeated Halfling troop. Or were they?

The Aschegrubenstrolche

The rain fell steadily on the slow-moving group. The rainwater turned grayish as it washed away the last particles of ash from the Halflings’ clothes and faces. With heavy hearts and steps, they had made their way towards Apfelgipfel after the destruction of Weizenhof. Every gleam had faded from their eyes and from their Armour, still the recent events weighed heavily on the shrunken troop of former and proud Weizenhof Volunteers. Full of pride they once wore that name, but it too was no more. Erased, as was the place where they almost felt somewhat at home. They now called themselves the ‘Aschengrubenstrolche’, no longer beholden to anyone and with no prospect of a lucrative assignment, the mood of the former mercenary troop grew grimmer by the day. They were now exiles in a harsh land, full of dangerous creatures and bands that could be lurking for them at any dark corner. Gone were the glory days and bulging tankards of beer and plates of delicious food.


He knew he had to keep his comrades happy somehow and sang an old hiking song from the old days. Hoping that they would soon reach the famous town of Apfelgipfel and be welcomed with open arms. It was currently their best chance of a warm shelter and a decent meal. What would come after that, none of them knew, not even Perwick Littlebottom, the former leader and survivor of the destruction of Weizenhof. Perhaps the humans and dwarves in Apfelgipfel knew a way out for him and his troop? The rain slowly eased and the view gradually became clearer. Perwick could now make out dainty, dark needles on the horizon, gradually growing into slender spires and roofs the closer they came to them. The saving city was now finally within the troop’s grasp and gave Perwick a spark of hope. Soon all the hardships they had gone through in the last few months would finally come to an end.


The huge, wooden city gate towered high above the group of halflings, set into a stately and massive city wall of precisely hewn stone. The skill of their bearded cousins was all too well known to Perwick. Perhaps they could earn a little extra as miners or on the surrounding fields, he mused quietly. Or at least enough to pay for some new equipment? …”Hey, you there!” someone snapped at him gruffly from the side, jolting Perwick out of his thoughts. “We don’t want any roughnecks and good-for-nothings in town! You are not welcome here, turn back or I’ll have the commander of the town guard called! Believe me, you’d better not meet him!” the gatekeeper murmured to the tired group. Shocked by this first encounter, the usually eloquent halfling almost stopped breathing. He had imagined the reception in this city, known for its openness and tolerance, to be somewhat different. “I am Perwick Littlebottom, leader of the Aschegrubenstrolche, I mean Weizenhof Volunteers and I would like accommodation for myself and my battered troop, or an audience with the Burgermeister of this town, if you will allow me!” Perwick tried to reply as firmly as he could to the angry gatekeeper. “I don’t care who you are, I have my orders and I have never heard of you! Get out of here or there will be trouble!” the guard hissed back.


“Let it go Hector, these are not the thugs you think they are.” a strangely familiar voice now sounded. “Alton, is that you?” Perwick spoke up, staring wide-eyed at a well-armoured halfling wearing a feathered helmet. “Yes, my dear Perwick, it is indeed myself, as truly as I stand here before you! Alton Littlebottom, your brother and commander of the Apfelgipfel Town Guard, at your service!” he replied with a broad grin. “Now come on in, we have already heard of the fate of Weizenhof and there is much to be talked about brother!” said Alton with a now serious expression on his face. Perwick felt a great weight fall from his little heart and signalled his companions to follow them, full of curiosity as to what his brother was up to again. Interesting rumours were already doing the rounds about an army of halflings summoned and raised by Alton from all corners of the land. The days of the Weizenhof Volunteers were not yet numbered, Perwick thought to himself, but they urgently needed a new name. With a loud creak, the huge city gate opened and Perwick, together with Alton, entered the city, of which he had already heard so much. His journey was far from over and had only just begun. To be continued…


Summary

And that’s all folks! We had 10 warbands taking part, going from just 150 to almost 300 points. We played up to 4 games per player which ended with around 15 games being played.

Our goal was to kick off the interest in One Page Rules: Age of Fantasy and we think we succeeded! We started a slow grow challenge and at the moment of writing this blog post, we’ve got 17 participants. The challenge is open, you can join us on our discord.

Additionally, we’re toying with the idea of writing our own club lore – so who knows, maybe you’ll see Apfelgipfel, Gitzakh Khan and the remnants of Aschegrube Volunteers in the future? In any way, the lore is for you to take and remix. Have fun with it!

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