The Trial of Hysh
With the release of Warhammer Quest – Silver Tower, what better way to show it off than by embarking on one of the nine trials of the Gaunt Summoner? In this playthrough of the brand new boxed game, we face the first of the daemonic sorcerer’s perverse trials.
The Nine Trials
In Warhammer Quest – Silver Tower, there are nine trials for your champions to brave. You can play them in almost any order, but there are some that are far more difficult than others, and it would be a very foolish band of adventurers indeed who would seek out the Gaunt Summoner without completing his shattered amulet…
The Trial of Hysh is the first of the nine trials of the Gaunt Summoner and handily introduces all the main aspects of Warhammer Quest – Silver Tower, so is ideally suited to our first playthrough. Like each of the trials, the objective for the heroes is to survive and claim the amulet fragment at the end – easier said than done. As with every adventure in the Silver Tower, you are at the mercy of the Gaunt Summoner’s manipulations, so any given trial will unfold differently every time, such is the variety in the game. The next few pages will give you an introduction to Warhammer Quest – Silver Tower, how the game works, and some of the things you may come across when you embark on your own quests within its chambers. For our game, the heroes we chose were the Knight-Questor, the Darkoath Chieftain, the Excelsior Warpriest and the Mistweaver Saih (though you can use any of your choice). We set up the heroes in the ingress chamber and prepared to embark on the first trial – for the fragment of Hysh…
Set-up – The Ingress Chamber
Meeting for the first time in a mysterious chamber, the four champions stood before a vast shimmering portal. How each had come to this place would be an epic tale in its own right, but now each stood eyeing one another cautiously. Pushing past the Excelsior Warpriest and the mysterious Mistweaver Saih, the Darkoath Chieftain stood shoulder to shoulder with the Knight-Questor, a pairing that would in any other circumstance lead to bloodshed and carnage. Then, from the glimmering portal ahead of them, appeared the nightmarish visage of the Gaunt Summoner, a shark-like grin forming on his pallid features. The Daemon-sorcerer revealed that the only way forward for the champions was to overcome his trials, and recover the eight amulet pieces, upon which would be inscribed his true name. Succeed and he would grant them their heart’s desires. Fail and they would be his playthings forevermore, trapped for eternity in the labyrinthine depths of the Silver Tower. The face faded to echoing laughter, to reveal the first chamber…
Dice of Destiny
Every one of the heroes has their own coloured dice, but the purple dice are the Destiny Dice, a communal pool of dice that any player can use. However, if you spend one, the highest remaining dice is locked, and you cannot use it. Should the Destiny Dice roll a double 1 or double 6, an Unexpected Event occurs (see page 23).
The Runemarked player
The rune of Tzeentch passes from player to player at the start of each round, and the player holding it is described as the runemarked player. They roll the Destiny Dice (see above), control the adversaries in the adversary phase (see page 24) and may be called on to perform a particular action during an Unexpected Event (see page 23).
Room One – The Whirlgig Passage
The way forward was revealed to the four heroes, a whirling corridor of interlocking gears and cogwheels, moving with unearthly precision. At the heart of the corridor stood a band of Kairic Acolytes, gold-masked cultists in the service of the Gaunt Summoner. Before the Acolytes could react, the Knight-Questor and Darkoath Chieftain surged forward, blades at the ready, carving a bloody swathe through the cruel acolytes of the Architect of Fate. The Darkoath Chieftain cut one down with contemptuous ease, a cruel sneer on his features, whilst the impassive Knight-Questor smashed another cultist aside before jabbing another with his warblade. Before the Knight-Questor could finish the wretch off, the Mistweaver Saih serenely floated into the chamber and blew the bloodied Acolyte apart, before evaporating the final minion in a storm of impossible colours. As the Excelsior Warpriest and his Gryph-hound companion entered the chamber, the infernal clockwork stilled, now that every adversary within had perished.
Actions are carried out using a player’s hero dice. Roll your four hero dice and place them on your card at the start of your turn. To make an action, you must spend a dice the score on which at least matches the cost of the action, So, an action of 3+ would need you to spend a hero dice with a value of 3 or more to perform it.
The halls of the Silver Tower ever shift, so instead of a map, there is the exploration deck. Using an action to peer through a chamber’s unexplored exit, you draw a card and add the revealed chamber to the board – here, the Whirligig Passage – before reading the description and following its instructions, such as rolling for adversaries.
Room Two – The Way Divides
Taking the lead, the Knight-Questor stepped through the glimmering portal into a lurid chamber of jade and gold, at the centre of which stood a quartet of muttering, grumbling blue-skinned Daemons. The Knight-Questor charged in, bellowing Sigmar’s name, and cleaved one of the rubbery blue Daemons in twain with a thundercharged strike. Where a single Daemon had stood, there was now a pair of diminutive screeching Brimstone Horrors! The Mistweaver followed behind the Knight-Questor, splitting another Blue Horror in two, filling the room with yet more Brimstone Horrors. The gibbering imps siphoned their very being into streams of pink flame that fortunately only scorched the heroes’ armour before fading into nothing. Their blue counterparts followed suit, flooding the room with magical fire, before hidden blades jabbed out from the walls at the Mistweaver. As if frustrated at being left out of the carnage, the Darkoath Chieftain charged towards the last few Daemons, stamping out the remaining Horrors beneath his heel.
Should the Destiny Dice roll a double 1 or double 6, an Unexpected Event occurs! Roll two dice, one after the other. The result of the first is the tens, the other the units, so 2 then 5 would be 25. Then play out the event as it is described. In the case of 25, a dice is rolled, and any hero dice that matches that score is discarded.
Unexpected Event 33 can be a devastating one for sluggish heroes. Blades lash out from hidden places, jabbing at a hero – in this case, the Mistweaver Saih. The runemarked player has to roll three dice, and should they roll under their agility score on any of them, they are struck and suffer a wound. The normally swift aelf suffered two wounds. Ouch!
Room Three – Abandoned Nest
Taking Sigmar’s light to the darkest of places, the Excelsior Warpriest stepped through the glittering portal to reveal a dank and fetid room, heaving with vile Grot Scuttlings. Stepping to the fore, the Warpriest smote one of the disgusting things with his sacred warhammer, as his loyal Gryph-hound ripped out the throat of another tricksy spider-thing who had tried to sneak up on the Gryph-hound’s master. The Darkoath Chieftain stormed past the holy man and leapt into the thick of the degenerate grot mutants. Lashing out with axe and broadsword, he slew Scuttling after Scuttling, laughing with the joy of carnage and slaughter unending, finally free to shed blood for his monstrous and ineffable deities. Deathblow after deathblow rained down upon the warped grots, and before the Darkoath Chieftain’s allies could even draw their own blades, not a single one of the deformed greenskins remained alive. Exulting in triumph, the champion of Chaos walked over to the room’s exit, not giving his fallen adversaries another thought.
Some champions have abilities that do not require an action dice to use, but can only be used under particular circumstances, such as the Darkoath Chieftain’s Deathblow ability. Should he slay an adversary, he can immediately attack an adjacent enemy with the same weapon without spending an additional action dice!
Denizens of the Tower
As Warhammer Quest – Silver Tower is a cooperative game, control of the monsters is handed to the runemarked player (see page 21), albeit guided by the monster’s behaviour tables in the Guidebook. Adversaries of the same kind attack as a group, so the mass of Grot Scuttlings here attack our heroes all at once regardless of their weapons.
Room Four- Perilous Footing
The next chamber was a room heaving with treasure, the footing treacherous as gold coins plundered from nations without number spilled across the floor. Within was a Pink Horror, surrounded by a coterie of Kairic Acolytes. From the shadows slunk one of the Gaunt Summoner’s diminutive familiars, the light-fingered Pug, drawn by the promises of shiny new treasures to add to his vast trove, hidden elsewhere in the impossible geometries of the Silver Tower. Watching his footing, the Darkoath Chieftain engaged the blubbery pink Daemon at the heart of the room and tore it apart, before attacking the pair of surly Blue Horrors that sprouted from its remains, slicing them apart before they could even grumble. The Knight-Questor followed his corrupt companion, dashing an Acolyte’s brains out against his sigmarite shield. The Mistweaver Saih, however, noticed the creeping Pug, and snatched up the little imp before he could flee, shoving the protesting creature into one of her reagent bags, barely glancing up as she blasted another Acolyte apart.
When the Destiny Dice roll a double 2, 3, 4 or 5, a familiar may appear, and their mere presence can hinder your heroes in their quest. A champion can attempt to grab one to gain the creature’s boon, but this may just as easily temporarily curse an adventurer, in addition to the indignity of being outwitted by a gibbering man-fish.
No adventure in an impossible dungeon would be complete without mysterious treasures, and the Silver Tower is no different. Treasure can searched for during a respite (see page 26). Treasure cards typically can only be used once and because of this, they are potent artefacts, like the Warpstone Bomb the Excelsior Warpriest has discovered in this room.
Room Four – Perilous Footing
The Excelsior Warpriest moved in to support his allies, smashing one of the Brimstone Horrors into pure ether with his warhammer. His faith invigorated by overcoming the children of Chaos, the Warpriest healed the wounds he had suffered. His Gryph-hound, meanwhile, savaged the leader of the Kairic coven, chewing great lumps out of the wicked Adept’s thigh. The surviving cultists drew their blades and lashed out at their assailants, drawing blood from the Darkoath Chieftain and Excelsior Warpriest. The spilt blood summoned forth yet another Pink Horror, giggling and capering as it pulled itself out of the gore. However, before it could act, it was bludgeoned into ichor by the Knight-Questor, before the rest of the heroes finished off the surviving Acolytes. Stepping through the far portal, the party travelled the multifarious impossible pathways of the Silver Tower. Yet they could not shake the feeling they were being watched, their progress shadowed by something terrible and monstrous…
Each time you slay a foe, you gain a point of renown, which moves a hero’s token along the renown tracker. Should they complete a circuit they gain a new skill (see page 28). Every hero has a way to gain yet more renown, such as the Darkoath Chieftain, who gains additional renown for inflicting eight or more wounds in a single round.
If there are no adversaries on a board at the start of the adversary phase, the heroes may take a respite. They can move anywhere in the chamber, as well as opt to heal D3 wounds or search the room for treasure. Don’t get too comfortable, though – if two rounds feature a respite back to back, an Unexpected Event occurs!
Room Five – The Librarian
The heroes found themselves in familiar halls, and to their despair they realised they had travelled in a colossal loop, arriving at the divided room of jade and gold. They took the second exit this time, entering a new room, festooned with books, scrolls and papers. At its heart stood a bulbous Pink Horror, living books in its many distended hands. The Daemon mockingly held one finger up to its puckered lips for silence, before turning to the glimmering blue portal in the far corner of the room. As the Pink Horror sketched a derisive bow, a roar echoed out across the Silver Tower as the Ogroid Thaumaturge stepped through, hungry for the blood of the heroes. Sensing a worthy foe, the Darkoath Chieftain charged in, drawing both of his weapons and slashing and stabbing at the enormous bull-like warlock, drawing blood and angering the mighty beast-wizard. The Knight-Questor, leaving his colleague to his work, carved up the Librarian, as hordes of Tzaangors streamed from portals and apertures, as if by the Thaumaturge’s magical summons.
Throughout the Silver Tower are foes who stand out even amongst the nightmare masses of twisted fiends. Heroes may encounter unique abominations like the Librarian (creatures specific to a certain trial), but terrors like the Ogroid Thaumaturge can appear at any time, any where. Best these foes, and you will be richly rewarded…
The Price of Failure
Should a hero suffer more than four wounds, they are grievously wounded and removed from the board until a respite occurs (see page 26). Should every hero become grievously wounded, the trial is failed. You could attempt that trial again, or try your luck with one of the other trials of the Gaunt Summoner.
Room Six – Narrow Ledge
The Warpriest bellowed a prayer to the God-King, flooding the chamber with a pure light that burned the twisted fiends of the Silver Tower. Dodging the jabbing attacks of the beastkin, the Mistweaver filled the room with illusory phantasms, distracting the party’s foes for a moment. But a moment was enough, as the Knight-Questor unleashed a thundercharged strike upon the Ogroid Thaumaturge, slaying the savage sorcerer in a blaze of light. The mightiest foe now vanquished, the Darkoath Chieftain sought out the next chamber, finding a vast and empty corridor hanging in space. Behind him, the Excelsior Warpriest continued to bludgeon Tzaangors with his warhammer, spilling tainted blood out against the scattered parchments, the Gryph-hound tearing out yet more throats from adversaries. Soon, only one Tzaangor remained. With a flash of his warblade, the Knight-Questor slew the final beastkin, and followed the Darkoath Chieftain to the corridor, a sense of trepidation that they were reaching the climax of this first trial…
When a hero gains a skill, you draw the top two skill cards, choosing which one you want, and discarding the other. Each skill gives a hero an additional ability they can use, from boosting hero dice rolls to making additional small moves before every attack. Some skills work better with some heroes than others, so choose wisely!
Don’t look down!
On occasion, a room or Unexpected Event will give the players a strange task to perform. On the Narrow Ledge, a player whose hero moves through the gap must take four dice and stack them on top of each other, so that at least one pip is visible on the uppermost surface of each dice. If the stack topples, their hero falls and suffers a wound!
Room Seven- Searing Beams
Passing through the corridor, the heroes found themselves in a chamber filled with cultists and Daemons, all chanting before a colossal daemonic statue flanked by pillars emitting a searing, sorcerous light. The Warpriest stepped into the chamber, and hurled a warpstone bomb he had found on the party’s travels, killing Acolytes and splitting Blue Horrors, before the Knight-Questor and Darkoath Chieftain moved in to finish off the foes still standing. The heroes turned the pillars to shine their unwholesome light on the statue, sundering the idol… only to reveal the Gaunt Summoner, or perhaps his projection. The first fragment of the amulet orbited this apparition, who then plunged into the room, jabbing at the party with his warptongue blade. The heroes fought valiantly with blade and spell, but in the end it was the pure Warpriest’s Light of Sigmar that banished the Gaunt Summoner’s shrieking phantom. Snatching the first fragment out of the air, the party fled the chamber, conscious that seven more trials remained ahead of them…
The End of a Trial
Whether they succeed or fail, the heroes will continue to wander the Silver Tower in search of the next trial, and any treasure they have found or skills they have gained may vanish like a dream. What you keep will be with you for the next trial, so your hero will grow and change as they progress through the Silver Tower.
Heed the call of the Silver Tower
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