Forbidden Psalm Game 6: The Forbidden Psalm
Posted: 11. 02. 2023.
Welcome to the sixth encounter in our campaign of Forbidden Psalm: a tabletop miniature wargame by Kevin Rahman, based on TTRPG Mörk Borg.
The campaign follows two rival warbands: the Cannibals led by Artanaro the Sly, and the Undeadites following the warrior queen Heldu. Both warbands are employed by the mysterious mad wizard Vriprix. If you missed the previous battle reports, you can get up to date here:
In this sixth scenario, Vriprix informs his contractors that he has found the location of the coveted eighth Psalm of the Nameless Scripture. The warbands are sent out to an ancient ruin to fetch the lost text from the clutches of the monster Great Maw. Whoever brings the Psalm back is promised a thousand gold pieces and a chance to retire.
MODELING FOR THIS GAME
In order to get the models up to date with their more obvious equipment changes and injuries, I poked one of Maag’s eyes out, and attached a Graven-Tosk Dagger to Filth’s arm stump. You may catch those in the photos of the battle.
Much more time needed to be invested in the scenario’s monster: the Great Maw. The mini I used is Horrible Husband from Wilhelminiatures. If you’re curious how it was painted, you can read the step-by-step HERE.
Each turn of the encounter there’s a chance for a random monster to appear. We don’t have all of the monsters from the book, so I made my own table featuring those that I did have from previous scenarios: Ghouls, Skeletons, Morka Porka, Blood Rage Vampires, and the Corpse Collector.
We decided to roll for special weather conditions this game, and we got Bleak Sun, which gives all models an automatic pass on death saves. The encounter once again took place on my 2’x2’ stone tile board, with scattered ruins for terrain. In the centre of the board we put an elevated area covered with bones, representing the remains of those who previously tried and failed to kill the Maw. In hindsight this was not a great idea, since most of the action took place there and it was difficult to get models to stand on those stairs. There were four treasures on the board for the warbands to collect.
Each warband deployed their treasure grabbers near an easy-to-get treasure, and the rest focused on slaying the Maw and claiming the main prize.
Undeadites win initiative. Winter moves towards a treasure and attempts to blind the Great Maw with a Golden Flare spell, but fails. Dugnutt tries to search a treasure on the other end of the board, but fails and gets injured.
Filth the Gore Hound rides his Morka Porka forth and stabs at the Maw. Neither lands an attack, and Filth successfully resists Maw’s attempt to turn him into a snack. The Cannibals send Niduk to attack the Maw, and he rolls a crit, immediately taking 70% of the monsters HP. Niduk almost gets swallowed, but the Confidence omen saves him.
Queen Heldu sees an opportunity and swings her sword at the Maw. Using a combo od two omens, she makes sure the creature is hit and killed - landing Forbidden Psalm into her withered hands. However, she is now open to attack from the Cannibals. Maag charges at her with his axe, but is unfortunate enough to miss, while Heldu’s counterattack instantly downs him.
Waltz moves forward, threateningly eyeing the enemy leader. Abathur tries the same thing Maag failed at and attacks Heldu. Blows are exchanged, but little damage dealt. Grittr’s low agility makes him lag behind the rest of the warband, so he only manages to position himself at the summit and wait for next turn to attack.
Artanaro is not yet ready to join the fray. He searches the nearby treasure and finds a random weapon. Hoping for something better, he uses the Greed omen - but this gamble results in a worthless pile of bones instead.
In the monster phase, a Blood Rage Vampire appears near Dugnutt and attacks him.
Undeadites win initiative. Grittr attacks Niduk but just receives a point of damage for his trouble.
Artanaro moves in to attack Heldu from the rear and actually succeeds at dealing enough damage to down the undead queen. She is saved by her Through Gritted Teeth feat, staying alive at one HP. On her turn, she tries to disengage but Artanaro stops her. Angered by this, Heldu swings her bastard sword and knocks the cannibal leader out cold.
The mass melee intensifies: Abathur and Heldu fight and miss, Waltz joins in to help but no hit lands. Then Niduk uses his Slippery When Wet feat to leave combat with Grittr in order to attack Heldu instead. Gotta get that Psalm before she runs away with it! He misses but Heldu hits, taking most of Niduk’s HP. Filth tries to finish him off, but the damage is not quite enough. Finally, Winter takes him out with a fireball.
Seeing the mission is going to hell in a handbasket, Dugnutt slips away from the Vampire and exits the battlefield.
In the monster phase, no new creature appears. The Vampire moves towards the barest model but doesn’t get far enough to reach combat.
Undeadites win initiative again. Heldu successfully disengages from Abathur and runs towards a board edge. The encounter ends once the Psalm is taken off the board, so the Undeadites now have this fully under their control. Heldu chooses to stay for a bit longer, since the Cannibals are scattered and there is still opportunity to pick up some treasure.
Abathur attempts to withdraw, but Waltz doesn’t let him leave. Winter finally searches the treasure she was standing by, and finds a live snake. Filth attempts to loot a treasure, too, and fails.
Waltz attacks Abathur, no damage. Grittr moves away from the oncoming Vampire, which makes Abathur the one nearest to it and therefore its next target. He also attacks Abathur, but this time the cannibal gets lucky and crits. Grittr is down to a single HP!
In the monster phase, a Ghoul appears and moves towards Filth. The Vampire attacks Abathur, but none of the hits land.
Undeadites win initiative for the fourth time. Heldu and Grittr, two of the heaviest hitters, are both down to their last HP. Best course of action is to withdraw to a safe distance and let the Vamp take out Abathur. So Grittr disengages and moves down the stairs.
Abathur is fortunate and manages to escape the bloodsucker. Waltz decides to try loot one of the remaining treasure chests, and moves across the table towards it. Filth fails to search treasure again.
In the monster phase, both the Ghoul and the Vampire attack Filth.
Waltz finds a suit of heavy armour in the chest. Grittr goes back to where Artanaro is lying and robs him of his equipment. Filth fails his third attempt at opening that bloody chest. Queen Heldu decides it’s time to go. She steps off the table, ending the encounter.
The poor Great Maw was taken out in turn one, thanks to two maximum damage attacks. It didn’t even get to activate...
This encounter was mostly one big melee in the centre of the board. It’s nearly the end of the campaign, so treasure is no longer that important - meaning the warbands could afford to play a lot more aggressively and focus on violence rather than collecting treasure. Since the weather roll was Bleak Sun, all models would auto pass their death saves, which was an additional incentive to get in there and fight. And after all, the most important thing in this encounter was to claim the Forbidden Psalm at any cost.
The Undeadites dominated, dice being heavily in their favour. Not a single one of them got downed, even though some were very close to it. They earned 20 gold and 7XP, and turned the snake Winter found into a healing potion for Grittr.
The Cannibals have been underperforming since they’d lost Janos. They earned only 12 gold and 5 XP from this encounter, and three of them got new injuries.
The next encounter is the finale of the campaign, so both warbands took inventory of their equipment and resources, and made their last sales, purchases and level-ups. This is where they stand before they enter their final showdown:
What did you use to build your Great Maw?
In the finale, the warbands will have to fight until only five characters are left standing. Which ones of the ten do you think will make it?
Let me know in the comments.
As always, thanks to all of Gardens of Hecate’s patrons! Your support is sincerely appreciated. If you’re not a member, you can join here anytime: PATREON. The extra coin allows me to experiment with new ideas, tools, materials and techniques - and produce quality content for everyone to enjoy.