Drow Warlords for the Ghostwind Campaign
by Rob Heinsoo

The Ghostwind Campaign, published in May, introduced a new way of playing Chainmail, allowing players to level-up their commanders, win magic items, and play in an extended storyline campaign.

Now, with the new Kilsek faction box, you’ve got access to models such as the Drow Wizard, Drow Ranger, Displacer Beast, Drow Warrior, and Troglodyte Warrior. Aside from the timing of our products, there’s no reason you shouldn’t be able to play the Kilsek faction in a Ghostwind campaign. What you need is a Kilsek warlord balanced to fit into the Ghostwind campaign format…. Here are two to choose from.

Cheldok, Drow Wizard

Cheldok is a warlord for Kilsek. Use the Drow Wizard model to represent him on the battlefield.

Battle Cry: Quick muttered spell and the sizzling hiss of a magic missile.

History

Long before House Kilsek officially decided to enter the Godwar, its leader, Venrit, sent agents out into the Sundered Empire to gather information on Stratis’s fall and the locations of his scattered panoply.

Cheldok is one of those agents. As a youngster growing up in the gith city, he showed little promise, preferring to waste himself in the pursuit of pleasure. He had some talent, but frittered it away concocting new pleasure-drugs instead of new poisons or torture formulas.

But pursuing pleasure in House Kilsek’s pressurized new surroundings is no easy task. Much of Cheldok’s fun came at the expense of others, and several of his lovers eventually plotted to rid themselves of the nuisance. Venrit earned Cheldok’s loyalty by personally saving him from the assassin’s blade. She let him slay the lover who would have killed him, then promised him revenge against the rest of the plotters if he would fake his death and go into the surface world as her agent. When he returns with powerful magic, Venrit said, he may avenge himself upon the rest of his former playmates.

Properly motivated, Cheldok has come to love his new games of combat and deceit. He has kept a low profile on the surface, striving to identify skillful treasure seekers rather than seek treasure himself. When several of the power-seekers he watches took themselves to the Ghostwind Plateau, Cheldok also made speed for the scene of the action. A message to Venrit has brought him troops to command and the promise of reinforcements. The future looks sweet.

Personality

Kilsek in the Campaign

How to Win with Cheldok: Like the other faction with a wizard warlord, Kilsek gets much better when its warlord can gain a level. The optimal plan is to win the first game without exposing Cheldok to much danger, so that he can level up. As soon as he has leveled up, Cheldok’s new 2nd-level spells will give every enemy headaches.

When choosing new spells, the area-effect cold burst spell is hard to beat. The only likely reason to avoid it would be a serious rivalry with a Naresh faction full of demons that can resist a cold burst without wincing.

How to Beat Cheldok: Cheldok has one huge weakness: a health of 2. Just 1 point of damage forces a morale save. A model that inflicts 3 damage per hit can keep Cheldok from getting the chance to level up, gain health, and take more powerful spells.

Superficially, Cheldok has a sparkling wit and surprising personal warmth. His demeanor covers icy determination and a perverse imagination. Cheldok is determined not to fail, the way he failed himself earlier in life. He’s so driven that even nearly lethal wounds don’t keep him down for long -- a killing blow is the only one that will stop him.

Cheldok used to spend all his free time imagining his revenge. Lately he has become significantly more interested in the mission he must complete to obtain this revenge. He has even considered asking Venrit to put off his reward, to savor it longer while continuing to play power games with the surface races. If he can find this artifact the other races are searching for, he should have more than enough power to entertain himself for years.

Lieutenant: Cheldok is too paranoid to have a lieutenant.

Cheldok, Drow Wizard
Kilsek -- Evil Humanoid (Elf)
COST --
Level 2
Speed 6"
Armor 13
Health 2
Save +3
Melee Attack +3
Melee Damage 1
Ranged Attack --
Ranged Damage --
Special Abilities
Commander 3
Darkvision 24"
Get Up*
Immune Sleep
Spell Resistance 13**
Tyrannical Rally
Veil of Shadow
Spells
1st -- magic missile 1
1st -- magic weapon +1

*Get Up: Cheldok automatically succeeds at any attempt to get up from being knocked down while at 0 health.
**Spell Resistance: Drow spell resistance increases 1 for every level the drow gains.

Sej, Drow Ranger

Sej is a warlord for Kilsek. Use the Drow Ranger model to represent him on the battlefield.

Battle Cry: "Goodbye."

History

Venrit seldom trusts one agent unless another can test his loyalty. Her trust in Cheldok has grown, but she still finds it useful to give him a shadow -- someone to ensure that he does not try to keep any power he gains entirely for himself.

Sej is Cheldok’s shadow. He blooded himself in underground battles with Mordengard.

Kilsek in the Campaign

Winning with Sej: Playing with Sej instead of Cheldok changes your tactics dramatically. Sej’s advantage is that he has Extra Melee Attack and inflicts 2 points of damage. Combined with his Veil of Shadow ability, Sej’s high melee damage potential ranks him above most of the other warlords. You’d be unlucky if the battles were one-on-one fights, but they’re not. However, your best strategies are also risky because they’ll probably end up exposing Sej to harm. Your best bet is to team up Sej with models that look like even more of a threat than the warlord himself, or ones that make Sej harder to hit, such as the Troglodyte Warrior.

How to Beat Sej: With only 1 commander point as a starting warlord, a warlord with patience can outmaneuver Sej. Since the drow’s forces won’t have any command once their warlord goes down, concentrating attacks on Sej may be the quick path to victory.

The ranger has not been as quick as the wizard to understand what’s at stake on the Ghostwind Plateau, but once combat between the factions breaks out, Sej has a good notion of what’s going on. If you wish to use Sej as your warlord instead of Cheldok, say that Sej has tired of being a shadow and decided to occupy center stage. Or use both warlords in the campaign as two rival splinters of House Kilsek. It wouldn’t be the first time the drow have fought each other.

Personality

Sej is quick to anger and slow to forget. With some more experience, he should learn to command troops more wisely, but at 2nd level he emphasizes his own combat skill instead of using his troops intelligently.

Lieutenant: Like Cheldok, Sej has no lieutenant.

Sej, Drow Ranger
Kilsek -- Evil Humanoid (Elf)
COST --

Level 2
Speed 6"
Armor 16
Health 3
Save +2
Melee Attack +3
Melee Damage 2
Ranged Attack +4, 6"
Ranged Damage 1
Special Abilities
Commander 1
Darkvision 24"
Extra Melee Attack
Fight Dwarf +1
Immune Sleep
Scout +4
Spell Resistance 13*
Thrown Weapon
Tyrannical Rally
Veil of Shadow

*Spell Resistance: Drow spell resistance increases 1 for every level the drow gains.

About the Author

Rob Heinsoo has been working in the adventure gaming industry as a writer and game designer since 1994. He worked on the Shadowfist trading card game and the Feng Shui RPG at Daedalus Entertainment, helped direct the world of Glorantha at Chaosium, and helped put together the King of Dragon Pass computer game at A-Sharp. Rob joined Wizards in 1999. He joined the Chainmail team after writing D&D products for the Forgotten Realms and working as the lead writer on the Legends of the Five Rings story team.

Check more strategy tips from Rob in his "Commanding Ravilla" article..

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