Friday, July 4, 2014

The High Crusade

We ran a short, three night campaign based on an idea from the Poul Anderson novel The High Crusade, although I switched the setting from the 14th century England of the novel to 12th century Holy Land. We used Howard Whitehouse's new Outlaws of Sherwood rules. Here's a bit of a narrative using some pictures from the games:

The year is 1175, The village of Hurran on the border border between Syria and the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem with a small Muslim garrison under the Kurdish warrior, Jahir ibn Batul. He has recently captured the brigand Kasim the Beautiful who has raided a caravan of Frankish pilgrims. A Frankish noblewomen, one of Kasim's prisoners, Lady Melisande, has fallen into ibn Batul's hands. Ibn Batul is waiting for further instructions from Damascus.

The village sa'ir, Soraya, has had a dream of fiery death coming from the sky. The local imam is not happy with this.

Further disputes are interrupted by the approach of a Frankish army. Under the command of the Hospitalar Brother Tancred, it is composed mostly of the retinues of the brothers Verney, Guy and Fulk, newcomers to Outremer eager to prove their worth on the Crusade.

Ibn Batul conducts tense negotiations while Brother Tancred endeavors to keep the Verneys from starting a war.

Suddenly, a great fireball streaks across the sky and crashes into the hills a few miles away.

Saracen and Frank agree to a truce to investigate. The combined forces set off.

The tensions between the two parties nearly explode during an oasis stop but Brother Tancred manages to keep the sides from open combat.

A shocking discovery, the fireball was a great iron tower that has fallen to earth.

Sir Fulk of Verney, the rash younger of the two brothers, investigates and finds a strange demon knight who he immediately challenges to combat.

Fulk, using his heavy mace, smashes the false knight. But then a wizard appears and point a magic wand toward him. Fortunately, older brother Guy comes to the rescue and dispatches the foul enchanter. With these evildoers dispatched, the tower is looted and the parties return to Hurran to carry on their personal dispute.

Realizing his garrison is overmatched, ibn Batul surrenders his prisoners to the Franks. He then attempts an elaborate scheme to frighten the Franks into retreat where some troops he has dispatched will ambush them.

However, ibn Batul is not aware that the pilgrim caravan that Kasim had attacked is still nearby looking for vengeance. The pilgrims are led by English yeoman, Wat the Brewer.

The pilgrims destroy the Saracen ambush force, only a few horsemen escaping.

No one had taken into account that the strange creatures might return.

The great flying disk descends, a voice coming forth from it in Latin and Arabic demand surrender of all they had taken from the crash.

A host of strange metal beasts are landed along with more of the flying automaton knights.

The strange invaders use a beam of magical light to shrink the villages and levitate them onto the disc. Then they make the mistake of trying to seize the Frankish women, Lady Melisande included.

Chivalrous Sir Guy charges to the rescue. Brother Fulk is not far behind.

This leads the Franks to rise up against the invaders. The longbows dispatch the automatons.

The metal beast are encumbered by the rocky terrain and destroyed.

Sir Guy rescues Lady Melisande.

Soon the lower deck of the disc is swarming with Franks and Saracens.

The Franks batter at the doors to the upper deck. Unbeknownst to them, the disc flies into the sky.

The Franks overcome the defenses on the upper deck.

Searching for the missing villagers, the Muslims unwittingly release an assortment of monsters from their metal cages.

The Captain of the ship is a woman! Never having known chivalry, she falls to the charms of Sir Guy.

She tells them that they have all been kidnapped and are heading to another sun, the outpost of her people, the Zenithians. A deadly reception is being readied for the Earthlings.

The Zenithian army awaits.

Ibn Batul has brought along a camel-load of Greek Fire that Kasim had hidden in Hurran. With this, they use an improvised camel device to deliver the Greek Fire onto the fuel tanks of the spaceport.

The sudden great explosion caused by what had been reported to be savages panics the Zenithians. They are routed and the Earthlings capture the spaceport.
Allahu Akbar!
Deus Vult!

To be continued....

1 comment:

commissarmoody said...

Looks like a fun set of games