Monday, July 16, 2018

Back from Historicon 2018!

The Historicon 2018 Dealer Room, as seen from the small balcony where several more dealers were cubby-holed
 It was a spur-of-the-moment trip to Historicon, this summer. My friends and I had already made our "big" trip outside our area to Little Wars, in April. However, my friend Jason from Columbia, SC, couldn't make it, so had made reservations for Historicon - which returned to Lancaster, PA, this year. He invited me out to share his room. My parents were doing much better medically, so I felt things were calm enough for me to hitch a ride East and join him. A fellow Great Lakes member, Chris, was heading that way and kindly let me ride along with him.

I have attended many Cold Wars conventions in the often-belittled Lancaster Host Resort, where the convention was being held. Some of the guest rooms had indeed been upgraded, and looked nice (like Chris's). Others, I heard, were still not renovated. The rooms in which the games were being played had definitely NOT been updated. The air conditioning worked well in nearly all of the rooms, which was good -- considering it was summer! Otherwise, the hotel is still in pretty sad shape, and is a lackluster location for a convention. The dealer area, formerly the Tennis Barn, had been completely rebuilt. Inexplicably, the entrance is on the opposite end, facing away from the hotel. The walk there was down a steep asphalt drive -- which shouldn't be something to complain about on the sunny (but hot) days. However, I can't imagine what it will be like in icy or snowy weather, or in the pouring. Very strange design thinking by those who are upgrading the facility.
Another look at the dealer room -- one of every Historicon attendee's favorite places to visit
 Speaking of the dealer room, I may as well go ahead and talk about my purchases. Shopping in the dealer area is always a fun part of the convention for a wargamer. Historicon historically has the best shopping of any convention in the U.S., so it is a highlight. I wasn't extravagant, though -- by any measure. Plus, $50 worth of my purchases occurred AFTER I had sold the five DBA Ancients painted armies I had brought along to the convention to try to sell.  So, here is what I bought, for those interested (with links to the companies).
4 Eureka Miniatures 28mm Chimpanzees
Ideally, I was looking for Baboons to go along with the three I had already painted up for Frostgrave: Ghost Archipelago. The only ones I found were the same three I had purchased from North Star Miniatures, which honestly, I am not crazy about. So, when I saw Eureka Miniatures had four chimpanzee poses, I snapped them up. My first purchase of the convention.
Miniature Building Authority Clothes Lines from their 28mm Shanty Town line
Miniature Building Authority Scenery
My next purchase came at the Miniature Building Authority booth. They have a 28mm Shanty Town line which has all kinds of nice city terrain odds and ends. Even though my modern Africa games are in 20mm, they usually work for the scale, too. I had previously purchased their Jersey Barricades -- and who is going to argue about how tall a concrete barrier should be? Similarly, with my first purchase from them: Clothes Lines made to string between two shanties. The picture above is from their website -- no, I did not get them painted up that quickly! In fact, all the product images are from the manufacturer websites. Two Clothes Lines come in a package for $6. MBA stuff tends to be a bit on the pricier end of the scale, but it is good stuff, and they are loyal supporters of our hobby. So, I support them with purchases, as well!
Miniature Building Authority Weapons Cache - Medium
Another item in their Shanty Town line of scenics was a Weapons Cache. They had two sizes, and I opted for the medium one. This could either be a good objective, or simply some atmospheric scenery in a lawless, third-world town. This appears to be in resin, too.
Miniature Building Authority 28mm Dumpster
My third MBA purchase was one of their 28mm Dumpsters. I had won a $5 gift certificate playing in their game one evening. So, I picked both this and the fourth purchase up the next morning. The dumpster is in resin, and has a removable roof -- in case you want your players to go dumpster diving in a scenario!
Miniature Building Authority Police Barricades in 28mm metal
I felt it would be cheesy to use a $5 gift certificate to buy a $6 item, so through in another pack I could use for my Modern Africa games. These Police Barriers will complement the Jersey Barricades I've owned for awhile. These are in metal - not resin, and come with four in a pack. They are about 2 1/4" long.
A new company I had not seen before - I purchased two packs of "2 Coiled Snakes"
Windsword Accessories
This was a new company for me. I asked the guy working the booth, and they said they had been going to Cold Wars recently, but not Historicon the last several years. That explained why I had not seen WindSword Accessories before. Someone told me that many of their products are made using the Hirst Arts molds, which people can buy and cast their own walls and such using plaster. I don't own any of them molds themselves, but generous friends of mine (Zeke and Tim) have given me what they've cast up. I bought four items from them. The first was two packs of Two Coiled Snakes for only $2 each. These will make great things to affix either side of a temple entranceway, or something (or creating an altar). Each snake is just a bit over one inch tall.
WindSword Accessories - two Toothy Skulls
There was lots of cool stuff at their booth. I have a feeling if I had sold my painted DBA armies earlier in the convention, I would have ended up buying far more from their booth. My second purchase was a pack of two Toothy Skulls. These will make great things to decorate the walls of a temple of an idol. They are flat on the back side, which should make it easy to affix them to a wall. Each skull is about 2" tall.
Sold at the convention booth for 50 cents each, these skulls will also come in handy as temple decoration
My final WindSword Accessories purchase came from a tub of simpler skulls for 50 cents each. I picked up four of them, and they will similarly decorate the walls of a temple or altar, one day. Each skull is flat on its back like the Toothy ones above, and is about 1.5" tall.
A 28mm Sarissa Precision building (City Block), which will see action in my modern Africa games
One booth I kept going back to over and over to decide what I wanted to purchase was Wargame Tools. They carry both TT Combat and Sarissa Precision laser-cut, MDF buildings and accessories. This is where I bought my Cargo Container Ship two years ago at Historicon, and used in last year's "That's My USAid" modern Africa games. This year, I was looking for some city buildings to do a scenario set in the capital or large town in Africa for my rules, Wars of Insurgency. The buildings are VERY affordable. The first I purchased was from the Sarissa Precision line that they carry, and was called City Block 64, Style #4. At only $20, and with two interior levels (that come apart), and a flat roof that could easily accommodate models, it is a perfect gaming piece. I am not normally a huge fan of MDF buildings, as they appear too flat and two dimensional to me.
"Apartment A" from TT Combat, a laser-cut 28mm MDF building with lots of decoration
Wargame Tools was the booth I returned to after I sold my DBA armies, with money apparently burning a hole in my pocket. I had been deciding between a few different styles of buildings from the TT Combat line they carry, as well. I ended up deciding on either Apartment A or Apartment B. When I sold all five armies, I said, "Heck with it!" I splurged and bought both...ha, ha! I have some plans on how to disguise the MDF trademark notch and tooth method of attaching pieces together. It is definitely one of the things I like least about MDF.
"Apartment B" from TT Combat's line of 28mm laser-cut MDF buildings
This entry has gotten long enough that I think I will do a second one to talk about the games I played in and saw. So, stay tuned for Part Two of my Historicon 2018 report!

Monday, July 9, 2018

More Jungle for my Jungle

My second batch of my new Jungle Scatter pieces, with Splintered Light Miniatures frogs stalking through them
After setting up and looking at pictures from my first game of Ghost Archipelago, I came to a conclusion about my terrain: I don't have enough! Now, I feel I do have plenty of temples and ruins, yes. However, the vegetation looked a little skimpy, in my opinion. Of course, I WAS putting out terrain for 32 square feet of board (8'x4' table, divided into two, 4-player boards). I do actually own more trees, so I'll pack another box, next time.
A rat patrol makes their way through my first, more colorful, of Jungle Scatter pieces
However, I also noticed in the photos that much of the terrain is simply bases -- I need more visual stuff down at table level at figure height. I have about a dozen jungle pieces I'd created awhile back for my 28mm Pulp games. But those don't go far on a 32' square foot board! So, I decided it was time to create more jungle "scatter" -- pieces to place on the board to give it more color, more 3-D appeal.
A close up of the frogs as they search for enemies amidst the vegetation
So, it was off to Michaels craft store to see what they had in the plastic plant aisles that I could use. Luckily, they just happened to be 60% off this week. I picked up a number of plants that looked like they might fill the bill, and stopped by Hobby Lobby for more of the wooden circular bases to put all this greenery on. Prior to making the trip, I'd dug out all my saved plastic plants and other types of vegetation (like the flowers and tiny, blooming trees from JTT Scenery Products).

Cleverly (for once), I created a prototype before going all-in and doing a dozen or so. I was happy with the prototype, but figured a way to simplify the work even more. Here are my steps for creating Jungle Scatter at ridiculously inexpensive prices:
Step 1: Wooden disks as bases
1) For bases, I used"Wooden Nickels" from Woodpile Fun -- though many other make similar pieces. These measure about 1.5" diameter. I use these soft wood ones because they are cheap, and easy to drill through, as you will see in a later step.
Step 2: Mount the bases temporarily to bamboo skewers with bluetack
2) Using bluetack and bamboo skewers, "mount" each base so you can hold onto it easily while applying the flocking.
Step 3: Flock the bases with Woodland Scenics Fine Brown Ballast
3) Paint the edges and top of each base with a 50/50 mixture of brown paint and white glue (I have a bottle of it premixed that I use for pretty much all my basing, now). Put it on heavily, then immediately press it down into a plastic container filled with Woodland Scenics Fine Brown Ballast.
Step 4: White glue and water mix painted on the surface, then sprinkling with Turf Earth
4) After it dries, paint the base with a 50/50 mixture of white glue and water (I also have a bottle of this premixed). Paint this on heavily, as well, and immediately sprinkle it with Woodland Scenics Turf Earth. It would probably work to press it down into there like with Step 3, but I find the glue will then clump up instead of giving a more even surface. When dry, this will be hard like sandpaper with a nice surface.
Step 5: Central piece of vegetation
 5) While drying, figure out what you want to be the taller, central piece of vegetation for each base. I use a mix of different types of plants and greenery: Flowering trees, ferns, various greenery from plastic plants, and so on. The more variety, the better. Some plastic plants are attached to stems with a tube-like piece of plastic you can use (such as the one on the bottom right). Others will be too long and need trimmed so all you are left with is a plastic stem. Either works. Take a hand drill and select a bit that matches the size you'll need. Drill it through roughly the center of the flocking.
Leaves trimmed from various cast off pieces of plastic plants are added to the ground to look like fallen vegetation
For pieces that have a tube, take a small section of craft sticks or similar, and trim it to be just larger than your hole. Force it through the hole from bottom to top, with just enough projecting so that the "tube" fits perfectly over it. Coat this projecting spike, so to speak, with Tacky Glue - also applying some to the bottom. Place the vegetation atop it and press down. Elevate it while it dries and make sure the vegetation is standing close to upright.
My first 12 pieces of jungle scatter -- after I finished them, I thought maybe they are a bit too colorful
For pieces that are just a stem, coat the bottom portion of it heavily in Tacky Glue. Put a blob on the hole, too. Then force the stem through the hole from top to bottom. Elevate it while it dries. Like with the tube type above, you will trim off this bottom piece once the glue dries.
 6) While the central pieces are drying, pick out the other pieces of vegetation you're going to use on the base. As you can see in the above, I picked out quite a variety from the craft store. I went back the next day and picked up even more. Use a mix you like. The pics in this post are from my original batch. I have since decided to tone down the color a bit. Make it more green and use the occasional color as accent, but you decide. It's your jungle!

I place a very large blob of Tacky Glue onto the surface of the base. I then press the plant firmly down onto it, making sure the glue has welled up around it. The flocking method I use above gives it something solid to grip onto.
My second batch of jungle scatter pieces -- as you can see, I toned down the brightness and made it more green
7) Cover most of the brown areas with grass flocking, and even some fallen leaves. First, I paint the brown areas visible between the plants with undiluted white glue. I sprinkle this with Woodland Scenics Blended Grass. To make it look even more jungle like, I have trimmed off various different leaves from plastic plants. I affix one or two of these onto the grassy areas for additional effect.
And there you have it! Jungle scatter that really takes VERY little time to do. They are easy to store, cheap to make, and add color and effect to your tabletop.

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Drake's Perch: Weasels, Squirrels, and Pine Martens...oh my!

The Pine Marten Heritor and crewmen investigate the island, searching for hidden treasures
I asked my players to send me an After-Action Report from their crew's point of view. Here are three of them, the Weasels, Squirrels, and Pine Martens:

The Weasel crew disembarked from their ship onto the southern side of the island.  Not knowing what dangers my lie in wait, they headed north as a group of five.  Quickly, they saw a treasure lying ahead, as well as a large building to the east.  With no apparent danger in sight, the Heritor and two crewman headed toward the sighted treasure, while the Warden and the remaining crewman snuck east to recon the building.
In the foreground are the players who were on this board, Joel (Squirrels) and Mike W (Pine Martens) on left, and Allen (Jungle Rats) and Brian (Weasels) on far right
Arriving at the first-located, smallish treasure, the Heritor, again seeing no signs of danger, ordered one crewman to lug the treasure back to the ship while he and the other crewman investigated deeper north into the jungle.

The Warden and crew member had reached the building, but they were met with danger which made their Weasel noses twitch.  A band of Jungle Ratmen was noisily scampering about the jungle further to the east.  After observing them from the shadows for a bit, the Warden decided that the Jungle Ratmen must not have seen him and his crew, or must not have any interest in them. So, while he kept watch, he ordered the crewman to enter the building and see what could be found.  Luckily, the crewman came back a few minutes later lugging a small chest of treasure.  In the meantime, unknown jungle denizens had ambushed the Ratmen, further distracting them from the actions of Warden and crew.  “Exxxcellent!" thought the Warden.
A Weasel crewman runs off with a treasure looted from the large statue behind it
Being rather devious — even for a Weasel — he sent the crew member back to the ship with the treasure, while deciding to lurk about and see how the fight turned out for the Ratmen, hoping that maybe it would go poorly and he could loot the bodies.  Periodically, the Warden called upon his magic to throw a random projectile into the Ratmen melee, but alas, his paws were all thumbs and only one projectile of four landed, and it helped! Unfortunately, it helped the Jungle Ratmen…sigh. Seeing nothing to be gained, he slipped off through the cover to rejoin his crew at the ship.
The Weasel Heritor examines a wall of Brambles cast by the Squirrels to block him from the treasure
Meanwhile, the Heritor and a crew member had delved deeper into the jungle and come across a large alter with a large treasure prominently displayed on a higher level! While waiting for his crewman to grab the treasure, he was able to observe a band of Squirrelmen to the north, but luckily a river was lying between them. Hoping he would have time to drag the treasure off before the Squirrelmen could stop twitching their tails and organize an attack. He and the crew member quickly started dragging the chest to the west, hoping to get to that side of the island and signal their ship.  Approaching a bridge to the west across the river, the Heritor thought he had it made, until out of nowhere, a long hedge of brambles blocked their way!  Those darn Squirrels! Maybe they weren’t all nuts, and had some of the sneak in them too!
Where there's a Weasel, there's a way! The Heritor had no trouble weaseling his way past the Squirrel's barrier
No matter, our Will is high and we will Weasel our way through those brambles. And so we did. Reaching the western edge of the island, large treasure in tow, they were delighted to see another small treasure lying under a tree not far from the beach.  The Heritor grabbed that, while the crewman continued to drag the large treasure, and both were able to reach the water and signal the ship to come pick them up  before the Squirrelmen were able to mount another attack.

Aboard ship, the Heritor and Warden compared stories, and were mighty pleased at their luck and their one large and three small treasures!
The Squirrel Crew exits the jungle towards the river's banks, searching for treasure
Here is the report from the those "sneaky" Squirrels:

Foul Omens: The Squirrels Tale

Foul omens of strong winds and gray vertical rain cleared the deck of our barque, Heart of Oak. With only one skiff seaworthy, we five went ashore.  Floppsy "Ground Squirrel" could hear ten weasels or pine martins close by, extra caution was suggested by leaders Dukka and Dakar. This was quickly agreed upon and we five moved into the bush.  One small ceramic treasure urn (75 gold coins) was found and quickly secured, and moved out of sight.

Dukka then did a mighty leap and landed next to another small wooden chest.  His movement attracted the attention of a weasel of unusual size (W.O.U.S.), that quickly closed ground and met Dukka at the treasure chest. Neither gave ground, so neither got that treasure.
The Pine Marten player kept sending new random encounters against the hapless Jungle Rats, above
And finally, here is the "report" from the Pine Martens, who are apparently known for their brevity:

The Pine Martens where able to keep the Jungle Rats busy with monsters, while we made off with as much treasure as we could carry.  The End!

Friday, July 6, 2018

Drake's Perch: A Satyr's Story

The Satyrs advance through the jungle towards the temple ruins in search of treasure
My players are writing up after-action reports from the point of view of their crews in my Fur-grave campaign. Here is the report of the Satyrs, written by Brett:

The crew had just dropped ship’s anchor. I called my Warden and three best crewmen over to me while directing the rest to lower the scow. There was a foreboding sense about this island, and I noticed the apprehensive glances my crew gave it.  But my Warden’s divinations have never led us astray, so if he says there is treasure on that island, then we go ashore! 

As the scow shuddered to a halt on the gravel shore, the air hung thick and hazy. The oppressive heat made me very glad to have left the heavy armor on the ship. No sooner had we headed inland, we saw the silhouettes of two structures looming up through the haze. Impossible to make out anything other than the general size, I directed the Warden and a crewman to explore the closer structure. With the other two crewmen, I set off for the further one. We had walked a short distance through the jungle and were now able to see structure more clearly. It had a very unique architecture that we had never seen before. That’s when we heard a loud, violent shriek high above us. As we ducked for cover, we looked up to see a large, lizard-like creature with a huge wingspan fanning the air as it alighted on top of our destination. Fortunately for us, its attention was intently focused on something on the other side of the building. As we stared in amazement at this creature, it shrieked again and dove off the other side and out of our sight. Not knowing how many of these things might be flying around, we quickened our pace to get to the building.

A Silver Drake perches atop an overgrown temple - luckily for the Satyrs, he would choose another victim!
Breaking through the jungle, we could now clearly see the building and noticed the center was completely open, as an archway would let you walk right through the middle of it.  Looking through the archway, we saw exactly what had held the creature’s attention. It was locked in mortal combat with what looked like a well-armored, well-trained, oversized rodent. What a strange place we’ve found! My crewmen, noticed something more troubling.  Another oversized rodent was attempting to make off with a large golden statue. Clearly this had to be the treasure the Warden foretold, and there was no way we were letting a rodent run off with it! Immediately, I directed my archer to round the building to cut off any escape. Hoping the creature would keep the other rodent occupied, we charged the overburdened rodent. With one mighty swipe, I dispatched the rodent and my trusty crewman caught the statue before it could hit the ground.
As the Drake slashes away at a member of the Mice crew, Brett's Satyrs emerge from the gloom
Meanwhile, the creature had done a better job than expected and slain the rodent. But now I found myself at the center of its attention. Fortunately, the rodent had done most of the work for me, and we were able to take down this strange creature (later, my Warden would tell me it was a Drake) without any harm to us.
Brett, middle, plans how to outwit Keith (right) and the others on their four-player board
As we turned to head back to the ship, a large bramble of vines suddenly blocked our path. What strange magic is this?  Not sure of what or who did this, we chose to exit the building on through the archway and meet up my archer crewman on the side of the building. Just as we thought we had cleared the area, two different rodents starting firing arrows at us. Fortunately, they were poor shots and not interested in following us as they retreated back into the jungle.
One of the Satyrs in possession of a central treasure found in a passage through he huge, overgrown temple
When I turned to thank our archer for sending off those rats, I saw he was already targeting something behind a large pile of stones. Then, I caught sight of the Warden waving his arms rhythmically in the air, clearly in the middle of some incantation. I thought my archer was going to fire again, but something shiny caught his eye and I guess treasure outweighs glory as he bolted to that location. Then, I saw a strange shimmer cross from the pile of stones through the stone wall near my archer, who was totally preoccupied with whatever he had found. I directed my crewman with the statue to make to the ship with all haste and ran around the wall only to find an even larger rodent about to attack my distracted archer. I charged him and, at the same time, saw the Warden round the corner as well. I knew things were not going to end well for this rodent.  But as slippery as all rodents can be, he looked up at me, and just as my blade sliced toward his neck, he pulled some crazy movement stunt and instantly vanished into the jungle.
The divinations of the Satyr's Warden came true -- the crew proved fortunate in amassing great treasure
With the immediate threat abated, the Warden and I sent the last two crewmen back to the ship, while we headed back into the jungle to investigate the obvious ruckus of another battle deeper in the jungle. We arrived in time to see the end of a skirmish of strange creatures — an odd bunch of furry creatures, with stripes on their heads, running off with what should have been more loot for us. And there were more of those cursed brambles...a LOT more! The Warden looked at brambles, looked at me, and while gesturing toward the creatures, pointed out just how outnumbered we were. He then told me he had foreseen more treasure elsewhere, and suggested we should make haste to the ship before all of the treasure we did recover mysteriously disappears amongst the crew!

As we lifted anchor, I was thankful that we didn't lose any crew and quite pleased with the amount of gold coins we found. But my Warden was far more interested in the trinkets. With a wink of an eye, he said “Just wait ‘till you see what I can do with these baubles!”

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Drake's Perch: A Mouse's Log

The Mouse Heritor leads his crew through the jungle, hunting for treasure
As Heritor, I led a small group of the crew inland to explore this new island. With me, were our Warden and three crewmen. It was relatively quiet at first, we found some treasure caches easily. Quickly, I sent two of the crew back to the ship with what we had found. Up to this point the only signs we had of native creatures were noises in the distance.
The two boards all set up awaiting the players - the Mice deploying in the corner in front of the middle chair at the top
 After the Warden and I split to explore further, I came upon a ruined temple with strange carvings on it. I and my crewman approached, finding an even greater treasure within. As we were starting back to the ship, I was attacked by a Silver Drake which swooped in from the rear. Almost simultaneously, my crewman was attacked by the enemy Heritor of a crew of strange, horned creatures. In the confusion, my attack was disastrously countered by the drake, and my crewman cut down by the Heritor and his crew.
A Silver Drake savages the Mouse Heritor, while shadows signal the approach of the Saytrs
This put me in a very bad position as the lizard had wounded me badly. I decided to use my Heritor abilities and let my two enemies fight it out.  Using Evade, I broke contact with the drake and dashed around the side of the building, hoping the drake and the enemy crew would occupy each other. At the very least, I hoped the drake would weaken the Heritor and his crewman that had killed my companion. For some reason, I felt his wearing red was not an auspicious color for him that day!
The Mice crew split up to find more treasures, earlier in the game
 I was planning to attack the horned enemy crewman while his Heritor was occupied with the Drake. Suddenly, though, a massive briar sprouted up across the rear of the temple, blocking me. I spotted a new group of bandit-furred treasure hunters a long distance away. So, I ducked behind the cover of a large, upright stone pillar, which also hid me from the horned enemies within the temple. This put me in range of the new Heritor’s Warden, though, who cast an entangle spell around my feet. One of his crew then began shooting at me with his bow. I was unable to move free from the entanglement to counter the archer. So, instead, I used my Wraithwalk ability to move from the pillar to additional cover behind a stone wall. This vantage point let me spot an enemy crewman dragging a chest away. Just as I was preparing to attack him, the horned Heritor, Warden and another crewman appeared to help him. After a futile exchange of blows, I evaded them, too, and headed back to the ship for help.
The action rages with Mice exploring the ruins or fighting monsters, while the Badgers do the same in the background
My Warden later told me that he had no better luck. As he was returning to rejoin me, he came upon two rat tribesmen that began to pepper him with arrows. He turned back the way he had come to try and avoid them and rejoin me. He bumped into another group that proved hostile, as well. By their markings, he surmised them to be Badgers, hunting for treasure as we were. When he went to speak to them he was rudely attacked.
The Mouse Warden ranges the battlefield dodging perils and being unlucky in procuring treasures

The gods were not with my Warden this day, he said, as only one of his spells worked as planned. He was able to avoid direct contact with the Badgers. When they were attacked by an unseen fourth group, in turn, he chose linger to see if this could lead to stealing riches from one or both warring groups. It was the Badgers who were being quickly decimated by the attacks of these same bandit-furred creatures (Raccoons, he surmised) who’d attacked me. When the horned creatures appeared (Satyrs, he informed me), he decided to return to the ship for help. Not a good day for us! We lost a crewman lost and found only a bit of treasure. The greater part of the island’s riches were lost to misfortune.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Drake's Perch: A Badger's Eye View

One of the Badger crew advances towards an overgrown temple, searching for treasure
I asked my players to write up their account of the first battle, since with two games going on, there was no way I could keep track of everything. Here's the first of these accounts, written by Andy Swingle, who is playing the Badger Crew.
Four of the Badger Crew -- Khlargan at right, and his Warden Misotan (with badger familiar) at bottom left
Heritor Khlargan led the cete he assembled from the ship towards the ruins that he heard held treasure. Misotan the Warden and good friend chose to follow also, using what magic he could on the journey. He chose a few good badgers from the crew to help lug any treasure found and help with any fighting that might happen: Wheadon, a wiry badger, was an excellent swimmer; Tornal, a stout badger with a large two-handed axe; Lidmere, a bodyguard his father had sent with him on the expedition, wore mail and carried a shield and a good sword.
The Warden Misotan and Tornal prowl through the junble in search of treasures
The cete arrived at the outskirts of the ruins. Khlargan pointed at the nearest building and ordered Wheadon into it to investigate, while the rest of them traveled deeper into the complex. Quickly, Wheadon and Lidmere found treasures. And Tornal also found a very large treasure. Khlargan was very pleased with the ease at finding so much treasure. His happiness was interrupted by a screech. He looked up and saw a good-sized creature flying towards the cete. Quickly, he ran towards it with his two-handed mace. His initial swing connected doing some damage. He channeled his Heritor powers with a bit of pain and tore deeper into the creature. The creature clawed at him drawing some blood. The next swing Khlargan was able to connect disemboweled the creature. In the back of his mind, he remembered this type of creature was called a Drake. 
Khlargan battles the Copper Drake which swooped in to attack his crew
Looking around, he saw Tornal and Wheadon each carrying a chest into the jungle towards their regrouping spot. Misotan cast one of his spells in a gap, creating a mist, then cast his healing magic on Khlargan, healing some of his wounds. Through the mist, he could barely make out humanoid creatures moving in the distance. Tornal was dragging the large chest towards the jungle line when he was struck down by a single arrow! Misotan quickly grab the treasure and started heading back to Khlargan.
Tornal carrying the large, silvery Buddha treasure cask just before he is struck down by a Raccoon arrow
 A even louder bellow came from out of the jungle and a thundering of heavy hooves. A large leathery cow-type creature with gray skin burst out of the jungle alongside. Shortly afterwards, soaring over the treetops, a very strange-looking bird/cat beast! Khlargan was later told by Misotan these were called a hippopotamus and a hippogryph. Khlargan quickly positioned himself between the beasts and his friend, Misotan. It was going to be a tough fight, but with Misotan's healing, perhaps he might prevail. Suddenly, their was a agonizing pain in his side. He looked down to see an arrow. He saw some creatures off in the distance with bandit-like fur markings, and one had a bow. 
While Khlargan battles the Hippogryph, Misotan and his familiar try to fend off a hippopotamus
He then hear a cry from Misotan. He glanced back to see a hedge had sprouted where it had not been before, hindering possibility of escape. Being a badger, anger and rage filled him with this turn of events. The hippogryph was upon him, though. His first swing connected, but did not cause a lot of damage. So, he tried to channel his powers to do more damage. The pain was too intense, though, and caused him even more harm. He felt a soothing of the pain, and realized Misotan was healing him. To his dismay, the hippo ran by him straight towards his friend, the Warden. Klargan got another blow in on the hippogryph, doing a solid wound. But Khlargan over-extended himself and was knocked unconscious by a swipe of the beast's lion-like paw.
The Badger Crew was beset by attacks from three creatures, plus sniping by Raccoon archers
Khlargan awoke back on the ship in his quarters. His wounds still sore, but better than they were. Misotan filled him in at what happened after he was knocked unconscious. While Misotan was beset by the hippo, a strange mouse-man had tried to his aid. He was on the other side of hedge, though, and was eventually knocked out by the hippo. He awoke a short time later, forsaking the treasure, and dragged Khlargan back into the jungle to our base camp. 

Surprisingly, Tornal also survived his arrow wound. He awoke to a terrible pain in his leg, but hobbled back to the base camp. The expedition was not a total failure, though. Lidmere came into his quarters with a smile and handed him a finely-made, two-handed mace that he found to use on the next expedition. Wheadon gave Misotan a well-made dagger that he had found, to help him better defend himself. Khlargan still got angry at the thought of the arrow sticking out of his side and seeing the raccoon-like humanoids that did it. And the hedges! A badger always repays the favor.

Till the next expedition...