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Ironsides vs Nicodem 50SS Storied Battle Report

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Ok, I was inspired by an old battle report of Viktorias vs Mei Feng, so I had to do this for my recent game as well. 

Here goes! Any feedback is welcomed. A more standard version of the bat rep is also available on my blog: http://malifauxsg.wordpress.com 


It was a quiet, chilly night and Nicodem was bored. Mortimer had taken off on a self-declared holiday while Kirai had slipped Earthside. With his army of corpses greatly reduced from the recent ambush by the Ten Thunders, Nicodem had nothing much to do but bide his time and await the graveyards to fill up again.

"Perhaps we should go out and get us some corpses eh?" Nico mused to the Belle in front of him.

"Urrrr." The Belle groaned and stared at him blankly.

Snapping his fingers, Nico exclaimed, "Great idea! We can collect some fine Head specimens while we're at it."


Turn 1:

Not too far from the Quarantine Zone, the newly minted Union President, Ironsides, had just finished visiting a miner who was injured in a recent accident. As she stepped out into the streets of Malifaux, she felt a sudden drop in the temperature - something wasn't quite right.

She glanced to her right at her guide for the evening, Angelica, who nodded and went slightly up ahead to investigate. Seeing some silhouettes in the distance, Angelica motioned to the Oxfordian Mages in Ironsides' entourage, positioning two of them in a line beside her. They were ready to rain Elemental Bolts on any threat that might appear.

The silhouettes moved. Two child-sized shadows slipped forward on either flank of the Union entourage. Immediately, a pungent odour struck Ironsides' nostrils and she crinkled in disgust.


A lumbering monstrosity with three heads loomed into view, protectively tailing one of the child-shadows.

"Looks like we're going to be having some fun tonight!" Dr Alexei Sokolov smiled as a soft purr escaped from his arc axe, which now glowed a bright blue. He was eager to test his latest pneumatic enhancements. To his right, Union strongwoman Johanna hefted her hammer and grinned back at him, before moving ahead to cover Angelica.

The lone Wind Gamin that Sandeep had sent to monitor Ironsides went quietly to a corner to watch the potential battlefield unfold. Its standing instructions were to look for any individual of power and Tail 'Em.

Suddenly, one of the Mages called Anton cried out and pointed into the shadows.

"There's a damsel in distress, we've got to save her!"

All eyes squinted in that direction. In the dim glow of the streetlights, they could barely make out a hulking figure with a long nihonto, raised threateningly above the silhouette of a well-dressed lady.

"It looks like one of our Star Theatre girls," Angelica muttered in disgust.

Of the three Mages, only Anton had mastered had mastered the art of Combat Casting. Wanting to impress his fellow Mages and perhaps meet the girl of his dreams, he charged forward with a roar. Perhaps after this skirmish, he would finally be able to date a performer and get away from the hours of dreary study at the University's arcane libraries.

Lost in his reverie, he failed to realise his folly and only skidded to a horrified stop a few feet away from his damsel.

Unlike the beauty he had imagined in his mind, in front of him was a rotting carcass of a female, with torn patches in her dress and bits of hair falling off. She held a parasol in one hand and beckoned in an awkward motion to him, her dead eyes staring straight through him while her stiff, undead lips tried unsuccessfully to pucker into a kiss. Behind her, a large, rotting carcass with a topknot waited menacingly with his sword raised high above his head.

"My, my. What a hero."

The sound of clapping echoed along the empty streets as two more Belles stepped into the light, accompanied by their master, an impeccably groomed gentleman in a fine top hat. Nicodem smiled at the naive young Mage.

His insides filling up with dread, Anton knew he was a dead man walking. He was too far ahead for the rest to support him and there was little he could do to resist the onslaught of four undead and a Resurrectionist master. In a last ditch attempt to save himself, he summoned all of his energies and Furiously Casted Elemental Bolts at Nicodem, hoping that Eliminating the Leader would scatter the rest of the undead. Nicodem smirked, crushing a soulstone nestled in the folds of his pocket to absorb the Mage's feeble attack.

The flashes of blue and green energy in the distance signalled a battle to Ironsides and the rest of the crew. In the momentary brilliance, they could finally see what dangers lay ahead. It did not look good for Anton.

Grimacing, Ironsides could feel her Adrenaline going up. No way would she let one of her men die on her watch, even if he was an airheaded fool. Unlike Ramos who treated his men like dispensable pawns, Ironsides knew each one of her crew personally, especially the struggles they faced in coming to Malifaux and the mouths at home they had to feed. Anton was a young graduate of the University, a poet and a dreamer. As President, she felt obligated to ensure each innocent soul returned home safely.

"Make way!" Ironsides yelled as she sprinted forward and Rushed at Toshiro, vaulting over him and landing squarely between the undead daimyo and two Belles. They would have to deal with her first before they could advance on Anton.


Turn 2:

Ironsides was throbbing with Adrenaline. She could feel the rush in her veins as her muscles started to bulge and fill with energy.

"Come get me, you undead scum!" She shouted out a Challenge to the rotting troupe as she readied her Brass Knuckles.

Dodging their sluggish attempts to grab at her, Ironsides deftly weaved her way to engage Nicodem, throwing her fists at the Resurrectionist leader's face. Surprised by the speed and ferocity of her onslaught, Nicodem was caught off-guard and suffered a flurry of blows as Ironsides launched a 1-2 combo of straights and Uppercuts. Under the hail of fists, Nicodem whimpered helplessly as he felt his proud nose break and his glasses shatter. He crushed more soulstones to summon an aura of green energy to soften the blows, but he could feel his body gradually weakening.

As her Adrenaline rush started to fade, Ironsides slowed down and began panting heavily. Sensing his opportunity to retaliate, a battered and bloodied Nicodem responded by imbuing his undead minions with unholy speed and strength, making Toshiro and the Belles come suddenly alive. Toshiro swung mercilessly at Ironsides, his now Fast movements making it difficult for Ironsides to dodge. With a flick of his nihonto, the rusty blade cut deep into her side and drew a splatter of blood. A familiar feeling of pain jolted another rush of Adrenaline into Ironsides' veins and she grinned devilishly at Toshiro.

"Good Shot, you bloated corpse! My Turn!" Ironsides cried out as she traded blows with the rest of the undead surrounding her. It was a mess of blade, claws, blood and rotting flesh, as nails dug into human flesh while knuckles connected with undead body parts.

Inspired by Ironsides' display of courage and martial prowess, Anton charged headlong into the fray, picking the weakened Nicodem as his favoured target. Unfortunately, the seasoned master was hardier than he looked, again batting off Anton's feeble attempts as he tried to launch Elemental Bolts and Strikes against the old man.

Even then, Nicodem could feel his strength waning and knew he could not last another flurry from Ironsides. He willed the Rogue Necromancy to come to his defence, abandoning the Crooligan to its own devices. The monstrosity shambled over to engage Ironsides, exhaling its putrid breath all over the brawler.

With all the action at the far end of the district, Dr. Sokolov was disappointed. He lumbered forward as quickly as he could to join the fray, but he was still getting used to his augmentations and his heavy pneumatic limb made his movement slower than he would have liked.

Angelica, horrified by the Belles and worrying that she might recognise them as former Starlets, decided to hang back and let the Union do the 'talking' with their fists.

Meanwhile, the two Crooligans crept stealthily forward, flanking the rest of the Union crew. Afraid that they would be up to no good, the Mage Brady moved forward and fired an Elemental Bolt at the Crooligan on the left flank, trying to push it nearer for Johanna to take it out. The Crooligan survived and playfully darted away to mark some inscriptions on the corner of a street.

"Boo!" It suddenly reappeared giggling in front of Brady, giving him a scare.

"Aaiieeeee! Get it away from me!!" Brady squealed, having not seen such a creepy child in life before. The few illustrations in the University library were actually cute and made no mention of the putrid smell.

Sighing, Johanna shook her head and muttered to herself, "Never knew why we needed these good-for-nothing University freshmen."

She charged forward and brought her hammer down onto the chest of the Crooligan, pulverising the undead corpse into a mess of embalming fluid and flesh. Its Head popped off its neck and flew into the air, landing with a sickening thud beside Brady.

Brady screamed again as the filthy ichor splashed onto his robes and mask. "Aaaah! That'll take me ages to clean the smell out!"

Johanna simply sighed again.

Watching from the side, Casey, the remaining Mage, decided to move forward and grab the Head of the Crooligan.

"The University might be interested in this. We should bring it back." He stuffed it into a satchel as he threw a disapproving look at Brady who was still haplessly trying to wipe the ichor off his robe, smearing it all over his hands and arms instead.

On the right flank, the other Crooligan made a similar inscription on a street corner before melding into the shadows. Sandeep, seeing through the Wind Gamin's eyes, recognised the inscriptions to be some sort of arcane marking. If completed, it would mark out the area as Nicodem's territory, allowing him to Claim all the corpses in the area under his influence. Realising the potential threat of such an outcome, he sent the Gamin forward to erase the inscriptions.


Turn 3:

Ironsides gasped as pain shot up her leg from the deep gash across her thigh. She was in bad shape, having sustained the brunt of the assault from an augmented Toshiro and the three Belles. While the smaller cut across her cheek was starting to close, her other more severe injuries would not regenerate so quickly. Despite taking out one of the Belles, there was no reprieve as the Rogue Necromancy was within an arm's length and would soon be tearing into her. The rookie mistake she made of underestimating the undead might just cost her her life.

Still, her Adrenaline was through the roof. With some luck, she might be able to take out most of the undead before she went down. Anton had better give a good eulogy at her funeral.

Cracking her knuckles, she yelled out another Challenge and started beating down on Nicodem again. Fortunately, luck was on her side. The undertaker had drained all his soulstones and his weak constitution was no match for the hard blows that Ironsides was meting out. Summoning the last of his strength, he swapped his body with a spare corpse he kept nearby, fleeing the scene. To Ironsides' non-magical eye, it seemed like she had delivered the killing blow, her signature Uppercut sending Nicodem's Head rocketing into the sky before landing next to Anton with an unceremonious thud.

Without their master, the undead seemed dazed for a moment. Pressing her advantage, Ironsides spun around and continued her flurry into Toshiro. She spotted an opening and landed a fortuitous kick that twisted Toshiro's knee in an unnatural angle, sending the giant corpse hurtling to the side. As he fell, Toshiro's Head hit a street lamp and snapped off at the neck, bouncing to the floor and landing again next to Anton. The sheer rush of Adrenaline from taking out the daimyo gave Ironsides a sudden burst of strength and hope, which she channelled into closing her wounds. Her bleeding stopped and she felt re-energised, ready to See the battle Through To The End.

With the remaining Adrenaline pulsing through her veins, Ironsides launched herself at the Rogue Necromancy, giving it a hard right hook that sent one head colliding into the other two. The beast tried to create space for its own counterattack, but it was too massive and too slow. With a well-timed Uppercut, Ironsides snapped one of its Head back, causing the beast to rear up in pain. She followed up deftly with a straight punch to its heart, her Brass Knuckles penetrating its rough hide and spilling black ichor all over the street floor. Somehow, its ram's Head wasn't as well stitched to the body, and the force of Ironsides' impact caused the stitches to tear. The ram Head rolled over to where Anton stood.

By now, Anton was in awe. He could only open and close his mouth soundlessly as he failed to find his voice. Nevermind a Starlet, here was his angel, his dame in shining armour! Dumbstruck and befuddled, he absent-mindedly picked up Toshiro's Head, stroking its top knot gently and mouthing sweet nothings to it.  He could only wonder - is this what love felt like?

A loud screech announced the arrival of Dr. Sokolov as he finally arrived at the scene of Ironsides' carnage.

"What?? That's it? I didn't even get to test my new axe!"

Ironsides merely shrugged while Anton grinned in a silly, child-like manner at the Professor, still cuddling Toshiro's Head.

"At least I get some trophies for the workshop," he muttered under his breath. In frustration and disappointment, he proceeded to hew the remaining two Heads off the inanimate corpse of the Rogue Necromancy.

Unnoticed by the rest of the crew, the lone Wind Gamin wiped away the inscriptions that Nicodem's Crooligans had made. Sandeep knew that the master Resurrectionist was far from dead, but it was unfortunate that the Gamin was unable to Tail him. Still, it had stalled the undertaker from Claiming more corpses for now, buying Malifaux more time before another undead assault.

With Nicodem gone and most of the undead in pieces, the remaining few either collapsed without any nefarious magics left to animate them.

"Looks like that's the end of another dust-up," the Veteran Fighter declared, wiping off the desiccated flesh and rotten fluids off her Brass Knuckles. "I could get used to this."

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