The party will play the Dwarves of Golden Armor under the command of the dwarven General Dugald Axeworthy. The forces of Atli the White will be played by the chaos army under the command of human General Kendell Praetor.
The Realm is in a time of great rebellion. In the east, the elves and humans have banded together to field an army against the mercenary orcs of Harek Bloodaxe, who has retreated to the safety of Dragonsford Castle. In the west, the small southern baronies have swept north towards Teufeldorf, defeating Grim's army of undead, and recruiting local militia to join their cause. But it is October, and the military campaign season is quickly coming to a close. Winter will fall before either Harek or Grim face any assaults on their castles. Winter will give them time to regroup, become strong again, and call upon the power of their father, Hastur. Only the dwarves of the Shadowyarn Mountains, rallied by Lady Laura (recently freed by the party during the Shadow Keep adventure) have a chance of completing their quest. Assembling the greatest army since the Orcish Wars, the dwarven army has fought its way from the Eastern Reaches into the long and winding pass towards the Shadow Keep, but there are still many leagues to go.
There are three natural narrowings in the pass that leads to the Shadow Keep. Each will be the site of a pitched battle. The party will be allowed to use the differential between winning and losing in each successive battle. The better they do, the easier it gets. Each battle will add a little more complexity to the game, and hopefully a little more interest.
Battle of the Lower Narrows
The Dwarven Army under the command of General Dugal Axeworthy have begun their ascent through the foothills heading west towards the Shadow Keep. It is a difficult three day march to the Lower Narrows. Advanced intelligence reports have noted a massing of enemy troops there. However, no wizards or dragons have been spotted, nor has Atli the White himself been seen.
It is a logical place for a battle since it will allow the defenders to have higher ground and the attackers have been marching through uphill through difficult terrain for several days. General Axeworthy expects reinforcements to be arriving at the Goldkin River if his army can pass through the Lower Narrows.
In this game, the defenders (Atli the White) sets up first along their table ledge. The attackers (Dugal Axeworthy) set up afterwards and take the first turn. This favors the attackers and compensates for the victory conditions which obligates the attackers to attack in the face of stiff enemy resistance.
Any mountainous terrain feature (cliff face, boulder, etc.) is considered too high or difficult for any unit to move into or shoot over with the exception of the rocky mounds. Rocky mounds have no effect on movement or combat. Their only function is to allow a full line-of-sight for any unit on top of them.
PRIMARY OBJECTIVE: Force Atli the White's army to retreat or destroy them.
VICTORY BONUS: The Goldkin River reinforcements are increased by the difference in points between the number of units General Axeworthy destroys and the number of units that General Praetor destroys.
One week ago, a scouting party deep behind enemy lines came across a small band of human soldiers slaughtered by what appears to have been several large bears or mountain lions. The soldiers were mostly eaten, white cloaks soaked in blood, but their gear lay where it had fallen. All four men carried only one item of interest, an identical message. A message of great import, a message hereto undeciphered....
Francis Bacon created one of the more interesting substitution ciphers. He used two different type faces slightly differing in weight (boldness). He broke up his ciphertext into 5 character groups, each of which would represent one character in his plaintext. Depending on which characters of the group were bold, one could determine the plaintext character using the following table (* stands for a plain character and B for a bold character)
CIPHER SOLUTION: Unit of infantry magically disguised as a large rock outcropping.