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- May 2007
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[WHFB] Crescendo Runes and Weapons
Recently found this old homebrew for a previous edition of Warhammer Fantasy Battles in an obscure folder of my hard-drive. It has an extensive backstory to it despite being about (mostly) non-unique weapon enchantments/runes. Note that I have only ever watched the game in question, never played, although I do own the associated RPG and have played the senario in the book and part of another one.
BTW: Be afraid, be very afraid, I am currently in the process of finally typing up the D&D version of this spell which is a pair of gauntlets and/or a Sor/Wiz+Bard spell that has a similar effect...
Copyright 2000 Michael Peter Scott. Permission given for use as long as entirety(Including copyright information) distributed intact and no fee charged.
Warhammer Fantasy Battles is Copyright Games Workshop. No infringment intended.
The Goblins had not yet laid close siege to Vark keep. They had taken the outposts on either side of the chain of fortifications already and scouts reported that the pass down to the lowlands had been occupied by a small force of goblins who must have crept by the castle in the night. These had been joined by a few of the filthy harridans that often allied themselves against the dwarves.
Sepert Von Hesebet, minor elementalist, stood before the leadership of Vark keep. All looked upon him with surly annoyance as only dwarves can look surly or annoyed. With one exception… the keeps Runesmith, looked merely disinterested and bored.
“And so I plead with you Lord Kardune. Give your allies one more chance to redeem themselves. Surely when they know how severe your situation has become they will send aid. Even when they disagreed that there was any threat here a few still came.”
“Bah, a mishmash of lancers, and one lousy wizard. I have seen goblin war-engines with more cohesion of design than the first, and slugs with more spine than the second. And now even these run off and tempt my warriors to desertion. But it matters not. Then goblins will break us it is true but sticks can break a stone. There will be many sticks broken before the stone gives. Dwarves are stone. We shall not go to our ancestors ashamed, except perhaps for those who are foolish to go with you.”
“Look all I am asking for is a few gaurds to keep the Harpies off my back so I can do my job and support the rest of my force. If that is too much trouble, simply let a few of the dwarves who have agreed to come with me hang back.”
“A few impetuous young sprats with more rocks in their heads than in their bones so impatient to sell their lives cheap in the open rather than dear behind strong stone. If it then seems that so little respect is left to me that I must let them go with my blessing rather than weaken the will of all my force by sneaking off with you in the night like the slop they are then I shall let them. But, by my beard they shall NOT march mixed with the rest of your rabble. Together they stay. Let your precious lancers protect the hide you value so much.”
“The lancers are my reserve. They can protect me well enough until committed but I fear that the line must weaken somewhere and when they ride off the harpies will grow bold and attack. I may value my hide too highly but I fear that without my spells we shall be overrun. All I ask is a chance.”
“And my answer is what it was the last six times you asked me. NO! Now get out before I decide that your head is more attractive to me adorning a pike then lending what meager support it can to our defense.”
“Hold.” Said a voice that Sepert had not heard before. Most dwarven voices were the rumble of rocks grinding together, forceful but not exactly the most melodious tones. This was a full and rich baritone that with training might be worthy of the opera houses of the Empire.
Sepert looked around to see who had spoken. It was the Runesmith.
“You said that a few young and impetuous brats had joined this fool. Well then I guess I too will become young and impetuous. He may have a spine of cheese on the battlefield but he has had the gumption to raise this matter with you five times after the first time you told him nay. For that and so that he may go to his forefathers with his right share of glory I shall go with him and guard him after the cavalry has ridden off to its doom. Perhaps he will kill a few more greenskins while the foul things are busy with me. So say I, Girith Warsong-of-the-Mountain-Axe (Avalanche-Axe).”
“Fool! Will you abandon both loyalty and sense in the same breath! To go against me is bad enough, but to do it to throw your life away for naught will shame us both. Runesmith you may be but only one rune have you yet forged. Its power will avail you not on the open field of battle but only behind strong stone. You should know this better than I!”
“It is my right to go where I wish. I answer to the soul of the earth and the fires of my forge before you. Do not presume to tell me my craft. I know full well the might of mine own work. It will serve to this purpose.”
“Grrrr…. Go then. And may your doom be swift and ignoble the lot of you!”
The next day:
The battle happened almost exactly the way Sepert had predicted it would. The whispers of the stone brought word of the ambush to Sepert and he passed the secret signal to his troops to look sharp. The dwarven units which were their van loosened there axes in their sheaths as lancers kicked to make sure their feet were well seated in the stirrups. Sepert himself had little to do but walk forward toward danger while helping maintain the illusion that they were all unsuspecting. He searched for something to distract him from the coming battle.
“So do you sing?”, he asked Girith.
“Well as for the wine songs. Faugh.. such are not for me. I will sing only to my wife, the forge, or my dark mistress, battle.”
“Sing then for me and give me courage for your mistress approaches and I think she means not to be gentle with us.”
“Who would love her if she was? But when we come to make our stand I will sing to my axe and you may listen.”
And so it happened. Groups of dwarves split off to come on the hidden goblins by routes where they would not have traveled without especial reason. Soon all were engaged with the enemy except Sepert, Girith and the lancers. The two harpies circled above looking for choice prey. Girith had drawn his axe and was singing a reverant rumbling song as he stood with his feet braced and the blade held with one edge almost touching the bridge of his block-like nose.
“To our left! The line weakens! Lancerrrrs, CHARGE!”
The company moved with slightly less than one accord but with enough momentum to be a force. Elves and humans mounted on everything from light looking elven horses to the much more solid mounts traditional for humans and even one surprisingly fleet footed ox.
Above a pair of shark toothed mouths exchanged a cruel grin and dove.
Sepert fled as the harpies stooped on them. He managed to evade them. Then Girith rushed at one as light burst forth from his axe. His first slash took off both an arm and a wing from one of them. The other turned on him and they began to trade swipes. Sepert meanwhile turned to see a group of orcs prying at a bolder that is seemed clear would careen into the lancers if loosed. Sepert focused his whole attention on the smaller stones in the area and began to chant.
When he had pelted the orcs to death he let himself relax a little and turned to see both Girith and the second harpy dead.
Two weeks later Sepert had reached to conclusion that when they put there minds to it humans could be much more stubborn than dwarves. He could get no help for the forces in Vark. “They are needed elsewhere.” He was told.
Five years after that a rune axe was found abandoned near a dwarven village. Strange since no dwarf worthy of the name would ever leave such a thing where anyone might find it. In a oilskin bag tied to the handle was found a letter in the common script:
This is the axe of Girith Avalanche-Axe who met his forbearers with honor. I have seen that his legacy shall not perish among the humans and elves who he was better than most of. If you have honor yourself you will see that the same is provided for among his own people. If you would only honor him then call this the Rune of the Avalanche. If you would also honor those who would seek to see all the free peoples of this land stand together then name it in a way that recalls that aspect of Girith’s that I shall remember the most fondly, name it the Rune of the Crescendo.
All the following weapons are available to anyone who can wield a magic weapon and is willing to accept them (some people are SO attached to their personal weapons and many of them rightly so). They can all take the form of almost any edged or pointed HTH weapon. All may be done as Runes, except the Greater Crescendo. The Kamikazi Crescendo version is a Master Rune.
The basics: Each move phase that the model does not move or turn by any means (and it is immune to hostile movement spells such as Bridge of Shadows) it gets a conceptual counter next to it, the exception is if the effect has reached the plateau in which case do not add a counter. The counter is conceptual onl;y because to use an actual one would reveal the presence and nature of the weapon. All these conceptual counters are removed if the model moves by any means and does not attack immediately afterwards(IE if they move then they had better be in base-to-base contact at the end of their movement or the effect is wasted). The number(s) before the arrow (->) is the value of each counter and the number(s) afterward is the level that the effect plateaus at. For all weapons except for the Rolling Thunder Blade and the Kamikazi Crescendo Blade remove all counters after the first attack(NOT first round of attacks). For the two aforementioned weapons reduce the Crescendo bonus(es) by one each after each attack (but not below 0). The default version of these weapons means that the character can do absolutely nothing(dodge, shoot, cast, etc.) without ruining the effect(eg loosing all counters), an improved version allows for the use of ranged weapons without ruining the effect.
A defensive situation is simply one where the bearer of the weapon is assumed to have had time to charge the weapon to full before the battle fully started. An entrenched or fortified force is almost certain to have had this chance unless the enemy took them completely by surprise.
Crescendo Blade 7 points (+5 for version that allows ranged attacks)
+1S per turn -> +2S(2 counters)
Greater Crescendo Blade 12 points (+5 for the version that allows ranged attacks)
+2S per turn-> +4S(2 counters)
Hunting Crescendo Blade 35 points (+5 for the version that allows ranged attacks)
+1S +1WS per turn-> +3S +3WS(3 counters)
Crescendo Finale Blade 55 points (+5 for the version that allows ranged attacks)
+2S +2WS per turn -> +6S +6WS(3 counters)
back blast destroys weapon and does a single hit on wielder with a strength equal to the strength bonus bestowed.
One use only
Rolling Thunder Blade 35 points(+10 for the version that allows ranged attacks)
+1S per turn -> +3S(3 counters)
if charged to +3S then second attack that round is at +2S and third is at +1S
if charged to +2S then second attack that round is at +1S.
Kamikazi Crescendo Blade 80 points.(+10 for the version that allows ranged attacks)
+2S +1WS per turn -> +6S +3WS(3 counters)
if charged to +2S +1WS then second attack that round is at +1S and blade explodes for a S2 hit on wielder at end of attack segment.
If charged to +4S +2WS then second attack that round is at +3S +1WS, third attack that round is at +2S, fourth attack that round is at +1S, and blade explodes for a S9 hit on wielder and a S3 hit on all models within 1 inch at end of attack segment.
If charged to +6S +3WS use following chart and at end of round blade explodes for two S9 hits on the wielder at the end of the attack segment. All models within 1 inch are subject to a S6 hit from shrapnel and all between 1 and 2 inches a S3 hit.
One use only
Last edited by DracoDei; 2008-10-20 at 12:49 PM.