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Author Topic: The Temple of the Sad Dragon  (Read 4632 times)

Offline Patrice

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The Temple of the Sad Dragon
« on: April 07, 2015, 12:06:33 PM »
Some time ago at a flea market I bought for a half euro a small dragonish statue, I thought I could imagine something to do with it.

Now, with some paint and some easy scratch-building, it will appear in a medieval fantasy game next Saturday.

Nothing extraodinary but it will give more feeling to the game; and of course I had to write a story about it! :D
because my friends like such (very stupid) stories as backgrounds of our skirmish games (role-playing minded)...

The Temple of the Sad Dragon

 A long time ago a dragon came, and he was the terror of this valley.

The King of the Western Kingdom gave him the whole valley,
If he would not attack any other part of the kingdom.

The dragon asked for a virgin each month,
And for a long time the people of the valley had to choose them in their families and offer them to him.
Then, one night, a girl discovered a mysterious way!
To avoid been given to the dragon!
And she told it to all other girls.

And suddenly there was a shortage of virgins.

The dragon was very angry,
And he wanted to kill everyone…

But he was very old (for a dragon)
And he suffered of breathing pain due to internal combustion problems;
He feared that if people noticed that he had difficulty to breathe fire
It would be the end of his agreement with the King.

So after some thought he said
That he would be happy with a goat every month
Instead of a similar girl.

The villagers were so happy that they worshipped the dragon as a god!

 (Although after some time they had to kill all the billygoats in the area to fulfill this new agreement: goats are not stupid either!)

Some years later, the dragon died.
The villagers took his gold and had a statue of him made.
They planned to build a real temple on the rocky outcrop where he died,
But the King took the gold,
And said he would later give money to build the temple;
- But later there were cuts in public spending.

If the kingdom is threatened, the dragon may come to life again...

The place attracts some tourists, and people tabloid parchmins have recently mentioned that a famous couple of barbarian warriors, Conarl Dunørl and Connett Dunørl (…these names sound silly in French) are visiting the valley (right of picture).


Offline Michka

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Re: The Temple of the Sad Dragon
« Reply #1 on: April 08, 2015, 06:38:39 AM »
Oh that looks cool.

Offline Little Odo

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Re: The Temple of the Sad Dragon
« Reply #2 on: April 08, 2015, 07:51:28 AM »
A nice little diorama piece and a great touch with the background story.
Little Odo's Grand Days Out

Offline Duke Donald

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Re: The Temple of the Sad Dragon
« Reply #3 on: April 10, 2015, 12:33:47 AM »
I agree, excellent background story!

Offline Doomsdave

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Re: The Temple of the Sad Dragon
« Reply #4 on: April 10, 2015, 01:34:21 AM »
Brilliant!  I love this piece! 
This is my boomstick!

Offline Patrice

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Re: The Temple of the Sad Dragon
« Reply #5 on: April 10, 2015, 09:28:05 AM »
Thanks guys. I'll take some pictures of the game tomorrow!

Interestingly this dragon statue still has a small sticker on the bottom, it says: Jade House Crafts, Stockton-on-Tee  lol

Offline Alxbates

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Re: The Temple of the Sad Dragon
« Reply #6 on: April 10, 2015, 09:35:02 AM »
Great terrain piece, great background story.

Offline DeafNala

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Re: The Temple of the Sad Dragon
« Reply #7 on: April 10, 2015, 01:03:15 PM »
A beautiful scene with a story behind it is always more lovely than a scene by itself. AND this is a BEAUTIFUL scene. VERY WELL DONE!
I'd NEVER join a club that would have me as a member.  G.Marx

Offline Patrice

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The Valley of the Sad Dragon
« Reply #8 on: April 19, 2015, 09:46:38 PM »
Hi folks! as promised, some pics of the game we had on Saturday 11 April at the Salon de la Maquette (miniature models convention) in Séné (near Vannes, Brittany) which had kindly reserved us a 4.20 m x 1.80 m table.

Ruleset: Argad. It's our first fantasy game since many years, and players wanted to bring some of their old miniatures which had seen very old RPGs and battle games, so we had to hastily update some of the rules extensions which were out of order since the early 2000s…

This tiny plain (situated at the far end of the Western Kingdom) is the famous valley of the Sad Dragon!

From the West you can see a small fortress held by a royal garrison (NPC); in the valley, a few peasants' houses (NPC); and just beneath the mountains, the House of the priestesses of the Sad Dragon (NPC).

There are only three places to cross the mountains. On the other side of the mountains, in the East, are some ruins of an ancient kingdom which fell one hundred years ago.

View from the East. The Temple of the Sad Dragon is situated on a rocky outcrop on the Eastern side of the mountain:

At the beginning of the game, players hide their movement, they move miniatures of animals instead of their troop, and some terrain features are placed by the referee when someone reaches them; so the players don't know what they will meet later.

First encounter: coming from the East, the foot Hobgoblins led by shaman Sharku meet four humans in the ruins...

…they kill three, and capture the fourth. It was only a NPC group of low-level adventurers (a fighter, a magician, a female cleric, and a thief) who were chasing an unfortunate NPC kobold (they were shouting that they "just wanted to gain experience", whatever that means?)

At the same time, mounted Hobgoblins led by chief Hubluk khan (also coming from the East) cross the Northern Pass of the mountains…

…they discover an old statue there, apparently placed there to stop evil invasions, but it faces the wrong way (it dates from the old Eastern Kingdom) and it has not be cleaned since a long time: its face and hand are covered with bird shit, so its magical properties do not really work any more against the Hobgobs (they would have a slight disadvantage if they had to fight near the statue, nothing more).

In the western valley, a valiant troop of Halflings walk joyously. They pass by a camp which had just been installed by a mixed troop of mercenaries (Elves, Humans, a couple of Dwarves).

« Last Edit: April 20, 2015, 10:21:25 AM by Patrice »

Offline Patrice

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Re: The Temple of the Sad Dragon
« Reply #9 on: April 19, 2015, 09:48:55 PM »
In the North, some of the mounted Hobgobs have passed the mountain and take position behind the river, hidden by its mist…

…followed by another group which stops before the pass, to discuss with some Goblins (NPC) who say that they live in the forest.

The Halflings are still marching in the valley; and a new troop of Human adventurers appears on the table.

People wanting to cross the Southern Pass have to wait a bit, there is a traffic jam on the narrow path! (because the Dwarves are in heavy fight against the foot Hobgoblins on the other side!).

The mounted Hobgobs cross the river in the North!

…and, after some chase with the heavy knights of the garrison (who can never catch them) they attack the peasants to kill and steal their cattle.

The knights of the garrison decide to protect the House of the priestesses.

Um, by now you probably want to know what all these people think they are doing?

—The two Hobgoblin players want to find and secure a pass trough the mountains for future invasions. There is some rivalry between the chief (who leads the mounted Hobgobs) and the shaman (in charge of the Hobgob infantry); they are not allowed to fight each other, but they compete to be the best.

— The mercenary player, Mitheglath the Grey Elf and his mixed troop, are paid by the Western King:
- to escort secretly a young Halfling maid and deliver her to the House of the priestesses;
- to inspect the borders (the King suspects that his local officers may be corrupted) and make a report.
- to ask the tribute that Dwarves who live in the southern mountain must pay every ten years to the King (these Dwarves must also guard the Southern Pass: one hundred years ago they have signed a contract to do so for CMXCIX years).

— The Dwarf player (um, unfortunately I've no pictures of the Dwarves) just wants to work in his mine (which provides silver and iron; no gold that's why the Dwarves had no problem with the Dragon when he was alive). These Dwarves have an agreement with the Human King and will respect it, just for the sake of diplomacy, and anyway they don't want any evil creatures on the Southern Pass. If someone comes and bothers them too much, they traditionally break his skull on stones in a mountain spring (because it's easier to clean; they call it "hydraulic fracturing").

— The Halfling player and his troop:
- are looking for a young Halfling maid, Milya, who left her family and village some time ago to live a shameful life in the big human town of the West; they want to bring her back to her parents who will teach her how to behave properly; they had an information that she could be somewhere around here.
- they need to find someone who could make and sell them silver-plated arrow points, because werewolves have been sighted near their village (off-table).
- they are also allowed to look for some grub along the way…

— The adventurer, Hans and his troop of Humans (medieval fantasy Europeans and fantasy Asiatics) have been told that the second son of the Western King will secretly give a big reward if someone can bring back to him his sweetheart Milya, a young Halfling maid. The King did forbid his son to marry her (because "there never was, and never will be, zoophilia in our family!") and then she disappeared. The adventurers will also look for anything valuable that could be gained.
« Last Edit: April 20, 2015, 07:08:55 PM by Patrice »

Offline Patrice

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Re: The Temple of the Sad Dragon
« Reply #10 on: April 19, 2015, 09:55:50 PM »
The Halflings have been talking to the village smith, and asked him for silver-plated arrow points. He told them he could not make such things, they should go to the Dwarves.

 So the Halflings walk to the Southern Pass, near a troop of mercenaries.

…and when they meet the Dwarves, the Halfling player really tells the Dwarf player: "I need something precious."
…and the Dwarf player, without knowing what he wants, strongly answers: "We've got no gold!!!"
(I like these players!)

The mercenaries of Mitheglath walk to the Northern Pass (after having secretly delivered Milya, the young Halfling maid, to the House of the priestesses).

The mounted Hobgobs, unwilling to fight infantry, quickly retreat to the eastern side before them (fearing to be trapped in the western valley).

On the top of the Middle Pass, just above the House of the priestesses, two Human men-at-arms and two Human longbowmen resist a long time to the foot Hobgobs.

There is trouble in the House of the priestesses.

Most players have now understood that the priestesses of the Sad Dragon make a living from explaining to pilgrims how the young virgins of old times did avoid being offered to the Dragon!

"…There is a House in the valley …They call the Sad Dragon"… :D

The Halflings have finally understood that Milya has been brought in there; they ask for her; the head priestess refuses to give her, so after some talking the Halfling troop attacks the House! They kill a guard; the head priestess (who apparently is not very powerful) accepts to give back Milya if they go away; the head priestess cures her guard; the Halflings walk away, carrying Milya who shrieks "I want to go out of here, but I don't want to go back to our village!
...and the Halfling player says: "her brother is with us, I tell him to keep her silent!"

The Human guards defending the Middle Pass are killed! the Hobgobs arrive on the top!

…and then! the statue of the Dragon changes shape, and moves!

The Dragon flies, and attacks the nearest Hobgobs!

…he kills one of them…. then he turns to statue again.

It was a spell; an old woman (who can be seen on a picture) was a magician; most of the time she acted as pilgrims/tourists guide explaining to people how she escaped being offered to the Dragon when she was young ("and I can still display it for you if you give more money to the Temple!") and she also animated the statue for religious events (or in case of danger, which had never happened before today).

The Hobgobs capture the old woman; their shaman arrives on the temple… (and then for a long time he wonders what to do, but that's a player's problem). He searches in a gold-plated chest, and finds a few coins offered by pilgrims.

(An unexpected event later: Mitheglath's troop, now coming from the Northern part of the mountain, manages to approach the temple; his illusionists frees the old magician woman, and takes control of the temple platform – um, here the rules would not have worked without a referee).

After the game :

The Hobgoblins control the Middle Pass; so they have fulfilled their aim (secure at least one mountain pass), although not completely (Mitheglath's troop holds the Temple platform and can shoot arrows from it, although at far range).

Mitheglath have fulfilled his missions (after all he had not been asked to defend the whole border). Everyone understands that the garrison captain was a bit corrupted: he traded with the (NPC) Goblins of the northern woods for furs, and they guarded the Northern Pass for him. The Goblins were rather friendly with the local humans, but did not dare fight the Hobgobs when they came.

Hans and his Human adventurers had decided from the beginning to run and search the eastern side of the mountains (an old RPG-player syndrome?) but realised too late that they had not searched the western side at all, and that they had been beaten in the search for Milya. So, in search of any treasure, they frantically explored ALL ruins and hills on the eastern side of the table (which had already been searched by the Hobgobs coming from the East at the beginning of the game!) and at the very end they found the Goblin village (abandoned by the NPC Gobs when they realized that nor the Humans not the Hobgobs would not trust them any more); and near it they found a cairn, and inside the cairn was a wraith, and when they entered the cairn the wraith asked: "…Are you a Goblin?"...

« Last Edit: September 27, 2016, 09:59:32 PM by Patrice »


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