Thursday, July 3, 2014

Savage Worlds - Weird Wars Rome - Caesar Ascending - Session 4

August 52 BC, Alesia, Gaul

Adventure Summary:

Before leading his men up Mount Rea, Paulus wanted to see if silver edged weapons could possibly cause more damage to the lycanthropes that were tearing Caesar's army asunder.  Not sure where he heard that silver could be an effective agent (perhaps it was the old Roman deity "Meta Game"), Paulus conducted some tests and verified his hypothesis.  At the same time Xarax received a vision during the preparations that foretold of cold-forged iron being the material that most likely hurt the werewolves.  He tried to convince the rest of the party to have those materials brought forward, but Paulus declined.  Since there were only a few craftsmen in the Roman fortress capable of creating the necessary weapons, however, Paulus had to make a choice: craft enough weapons for his entire century, or just the party.  The newly appointed centurion didn't want to wait until evening to travel to the druid's shrine, and therefore just had spears and javelins made for his elite soldiers (the adventuring party) and let the men carry their regular gear.  This let the unit leave just after lunch.  Centurion Paulus had 80 men in his unit, not counting the party. 30 legionaries, 30 auxilia cohortes, and 20 auxilia skirmishers.  

The century started by traveling through the valley in which the party fled the previous day. Although still relatively early in the day, Paulus, Xarax, Matityahu, Aurelia, and Manicus were all rather tied, having not slept the night before.  Still, they were alert as the 80+ men (and woman) moved into the rocky valley just before the Mount Rea trail.  As the canopy of the forest closed in above them, the Romans heard the howls of wolves all around them.  Xarax, mounted on horseback, tried to see where the sounds were coming from, and was shocked to see that the vicious canines were closing in from all directions!  Paulus ordered his skirmishers to lob their javelins, which easily pierced the hides of the non-lycanthropic wolves.  Still, there were 60 wolves, and when they crashed into the Romans, they tore right through the lorica segmenta armor and chewed flesh.  By the time the wolves were vanquished, nearly a quarter of Paulus' unit lay dead.  It was not a good omen.

Centurion Paulus continued to march his century up the path towards the Lady of the Fang's standing stone shrine, with no attempt to hide or disguise his intent.  So it was no surprise that standing in front of his eight units was a small contingent of wolf-men hybrids, also in military formation near the summit of the mountain top.  Xarax couldn't spy any of the much larger Gallic Wolves of War, but it also was still daylight, and the party deduced that these monstrosities could not appear when the sun was up.  Paulus led his men in a slow march towards the wolf-men, hoping that Roman discipline and tactics would prevail.

The Centurion was wrong.

Twenty minutes later, Paulus's men, or what was left of them, were fleeing back down the mountain.  Only a few dozen remains, the rest scattered in pieces all along the trail.  Without silvered weapons, the legionaries and auxilia were no match for the wolf-men.  It is worth noting that the cold-forged iron arrows that were made just for Xarax were absolutely worthless.  Paulus and the rest of the party were hidden on the side of the trail, and watched in horror as nearly seventy wolf-men went racing down the hill to pick of retreating Romans.  Paulus swallowed hard… it was most likely that he would not retain his title of "Centurion" after this incident.  Even still, the party decided to move forward with their mission to destroy the shrine and the Lady of the Fang.  Xarax guessed that the cliff face the party stood next to would lead right to the shrine.  The Parthian horse-thief climbed the rocks easily the entire 100 feet and scouted the area around the shrine.  There were four wolf-men performing a ritual at the standing stones, two much larger wolf-men standing in the water, and eight normal human guards standing watch.  Xarax guesses that the Lady of the Fang was still in the water, where she had been the first time she was encountered.

Xarax tied off a rope so that the rest of the party could climb up, and then he hatched a plan.  The horse-thief would charge out and get the attention of the guards, while running back down the trail.  Hopefully the guards would follow and the rest of the party could pick off the wolf-men.  Not taking any chances, Paulus prayed to Mithras so that all of the party's weapons were capable of "smiting" the werewolves.  Moving quickly Xarax set off the trap!  

The Parthian charged out screaming and then ran towards the woods while Manicus and Paulus lobbed pila and Matityahu ensnared one of the wolf men with his net.  Only three human guards chased Xarax, throwing javelins at him while they ran, leaving the rest of the party to handle six werewolves and four guards.  Luckily the individual skill of Paulus' elite unit was effective at dealing with the werewolf threat.  Rather than clustering together, Paulus had the team split up.  The centurion held the center, pinning down two of the wolf-men with his sword and shield style, Matityahu to his rear doing the same with one of the greater wolf-men.  Manicus stood next to Aurelia to receive healing prayers while dealing with the remaining greater wolf-man.  The party was mostly successful in their attacks, although they were taking significant damage.

And then the Lady of the Fang showed up.  Her words were capable of charming opponents with very little ability to defend, and she could not be attacked directly by the Romans, but Aurelia's ability to cause fear worked quite nicely on the druid.  The Lady was not without defenses tough.  She had Aurelia heal one of her own werewolves, and commanded Matityahu with letting one of her wolf-men go free.  But the wily Xarax had a nasty plan up his sleeve again.  The Parthian could not aim at the Lady of the Fang due to her charming magic, but he could aim at Matityahu was behind her.  Hoping to miss his "actual" target and hit his "intended" target, Xarax was successful in pinning an arrow to the Lady of the Fang by... accident.

After getting hit once, the Lady became more defensive.  Her aura of charming was still difficult to contend with, however, so Paulus decided to turn it off.  The centurion prayed to Mithras to dispel the Lady's magicks, and his prayer was answered!  The Lady was now easy pickings for the Romans, and Manicus the Triari Legionary charged her and impaled her with his spear.  The remaining Gallic forces fled the scene, and with the Lady of the Fang laying dead and defiled, the time of the werewolves was over.  The Gallic forces encircling the Romans down in Alesia were briefly routed by Caesar, and while his legions were not numerous enough to lay siege to the Gaul city, the great Roman general vowed to return.  Paulus hoped that Centurion Vorenus of the Twilight Legion would take into account his victory over the Gallic Werewolves at his upcoming trial over losing his first century so quickly after receiving it.  

Quotes:

"I don't think we should waste too much time." - Paulus chose not to outfit his troops in silver weapons.

"I do a cheer for Craig for being a good leader!" - Frank tried to figure out a way to inspire the century when fighting the wolves.

"She's gonna be legless!" - Frank mocks Jim, who said that one of the mooks lost his legs due to taking too much damage from a sling stone.  Toughness of 6 and over 25 damage.  Made sense at the time.  


Cast of Characters:



Paulus Treblanus Epolonius - Decanus, Seasoned
- Agility: d6,  Smarts: d8,  Spirit: d8,  Strength: d8,  Vigor: d6
- Edges:  Rank, Shield Wall, Command, Arcane Background: Cult of Mithras
- Hindrances:  Code of Honor, Loyal, Vow: Twilight Legion
- Skills:  Fighting d8, Throwing d6, Knowledge: Battle d6, Intimidate d6, Faith d6, Survival d4, Stealth d6
- Powers:  Smite, Dispel

Manicus Atilus Damaticus- Roman Legionary, Seasoned
- Agility: d6,  Smarts: d6,  Spirit: d6,  Strength: d8,  Vigor: d10
- Edges:  Brawny, Shield Wall, Berserk, Counterattack
- Hindrances:  Touched, Shirker, Death Wish
- Skills:  Fighting d12, Throwing d8, Notice d4, Swimming d4, Climbing d6, Riding d4

Aurelia - Priestess of Mithras, Seasoned
- Agility: d8,  Smarts: d8,  Spirit: d10,  Strength: d4,  Vigor: d6
- Edges:  Arcane Background: Cult of Mithras, Power Points, New Power
- Hindrances: Small, Big Mouth, Loyal (Paulus)
- Skills:  Fighting d6, Shooting d8, Healing d6, Persuasion d8, Riding d6, Faith d10, Language (Gallic) d4
- Powers:  Healing, Fear, Stun, Boost/Lower Trait

Xarax - Auxilia Horse Thief, Seasoned
- Agility: d10,  Smarts: d8,  Spirit: d4,  Strength: d6,  Vigor: d6
- Edges:  Fleet-Footed, Marksman, Thief
- Hindrances:  Foreigner, Wanted, Delusional
- Skills:  Climbing d6, Notice d6, Riding d8, Shooting d10, Stealth d8, Tracking d6, Lockpicking d6, Fighting d4


Matityahu ben Sim'on - Ex-Gladiator, Seasoned
- Agility: d10,  Smarts: d4,  Spirit: d6,  Strength: d10,  Vigor: d6
- Edges:  Brave, First Strike, Quick, Extraction
- Hindrances:  Foreigner, Enemy (Apophis the Gladiator), Illiterate
- Skills:  Climbing d6, Fighting d10, Intimidation d6, Riding d6, Streetwise d4, Swimming d4, Throwing d10, Language (Aramaic) d4