A Gloom of Kilforth Story About a Dark Elf Assassin

March 12, 2020 | Stories | 6 comments

Jump into the epic tale of a dark elf assassin from Gloom of Kilforth in a detailed session-story crossover.

My beautiful and glorious copy of Shadows of Kilforth arrived the other day. I was so excited! In order to properly prepare to play, I went back to the original to see how many times I played it. Gloom of Kilforth graced my table… Once. It’s a shameful statement. So I quickly retrieved my copy, dug into the rules, and prepared for a grand adventure!

Game Overview

Game Name: Gloom of Kilforth
Publication Year:
2017
Designer:
Tristan Hall
Artist:
Ania Kryczkowska
Solo Mode: Included in the Base Game

This sprawling board game features a randomized setup of locations, each with a terrain type. Encounters of every sort pop up across the land as it slowly falls into gloom.

The solo character is tasked with completing a saga with multiple chapters, before taking down the final enemy.

A Massive Play Area

Don’t let anyone fool you! This is a game that stretches out but does so in an absolutely beautiful way. There is something so enchanting about the artwork.

Note that I use the Pimp My Gloom Expansion Pack, which includes larger location cards. This example play area can be smaller with the standard cards if that’s a concern.

All of the extra space closest to me at the bottom of this photo is used to keep track of assets and other cards.

I can’t get over how stunning this game looks in person! Even from a distance, I hope this captures its beauty.

Custom Organization

The majority of the components are in the form of cards with absolutely exquisite artwork. However, there are other bits and pieces to keep neatly ordered. Voila!

I might also mention that the system is dice-based, though it usually doesn’t feel too unfair. A 5 or 6 is a success. Too difficult? Just consider a 4 also successful!

One of my only disappointments with such a beautiful game is the basic wooden components.

Compared with the rest of the stunning artwork, these are the only elements that feel somewhat underwhelming.

Class and Race Options

There are a plethora of different classes and races that can be combined in many ways. Each one provides different statistic bonuses, as well as potential abilities.

For a character, it’s easy to pick and choose or randomize the options. I ended up drawing 2 of each type as follows:

  • Race: Human or Dark Elf
  • Class: Soldier or Assassin

What a choice! I could see the benefits of every option. It really came down to the sort of character I wanted to play as. There really are no bad decisions during setup.

The Final Setup

I know I promised a story, and it’s about to begin! Just one final look at the starting setup, with the saga.

Every play has a saga as the central element. It consists of multiple chapters that must be completed by spending gold and collecting keywords from various cards.

With my dark elf assassin, it seemed quite obvious which saga she would begin with! Was there a question?

Also note that every race card is double-sided, with male and female options. There are many ways to play, and the same character can be different. But, onto the epic tale…

Omelru Zodath

It was easy to lurk amidst the gloom and shadows. The dark elves were a rare sight, yet the surface called to Omelru Zodath. There was much more to explore.

Above all, there were more lives to take. Her existence as an assassin was her main source of pride, as it should be.

She snuck into Sprawl City under the cover of darkness. From the corners devoid of torchlight, she learned of an evil Lord whose plots were crueler than any she knew of.

The journey to assassinate him would be difficult. Omelru wondered what part of her life wasn’t difficult, though.

The Marquis of Pain

Elsewhere in Kilforth, another journey began. Now was the time to plunge the land into greater gloom, and the Marquis of Pain was poised to bring about despair.

He stirred in his ancient lair as his army began its march towards the mountains and tallest peaks.

Fear was his greatest weapon. Only when the gloom spread to every corner could he begin his rule. 

Neither he nor Omelru knew of the other’s existence. Their journeys were down diverging paths, but all too soon, they would meet at a deadly crossroads.

Into the Forest

As day broke, Omelru snuck out of Sprawl City. No one saw her arrive, and no one saw her depart. Just as it should be.

The Lost Forest was a dark and mysterious place. This close to nature, she felt odd and out of place. Everything was too alive, at least from an assassin’s perspective.

A raucous noise aroused her suspicions. Omelru crept into the darkness of a tangled mass of shrubs and peered out.

In a clearing, a lone man conversed with himself in a loud voice. His laughter and odd demeanor left no question as to what his morning routine entailed. 

A Mountain Discovery

There was no reason to spend any time with the strange man, so Omelru pressed on to the tall peaks to the north.

As the forest gave way to hard rocks and barren ground, she paused at the sight of a gaping wound within the side of Lava Canyon. It was a cave, though not entirely natural.

The promise of riches was tempting, but Omelru had a whole world to explore. There was nothing safe about the surface, at least outside of Sprawl City.

So she pressed on through the canyon, with the heat of the lava seemingly rising from the very ground.

The Marquis’ Move

On the far side of Kilforth, Spire Tor was the first to experience the gloom from the Marquis of Pain. His presence washed over the area like a poisonous torrent.

In his wake rose the Patron of Pain. This invisible entity spread dark rumors through secret whispers. He existed anywhere and everywhere, much to everyone’s horror.

The night was more than routine darkness in Spire Tor. Those who braved the wilds were beginning to suffer.

With his plan in motion, the Marquis of Pain retreated at the first hint of dawn. The night was his eternal realm.

The Winding Stair

Omelru continued her search for her target. In the Lonely Gorge, she was fortunate enough to come across Rigo’s Legacy. The neverending stairs looked intriguing.

Rather than travel around Kilforth, however, she took the knowledge of this location with her.

Something told her that it would be invaluable in her journey to find the evil Lord. For there was a chill in the air and a sense of gloom deeper than she ever experienced.

The surface was home to all sorts of wonders, but the danger seemed to be lurking closer than Omelru expected.

A Break in the Clouds

As the darkness spread its tendrils across Kilforth, the dark elf assassin found herself bathed in unexpected sunlight. It had to be a sign of things to come.

Omelru spent a good part of the day exploring, even though she felt the urge to continue on her quest.

The sunlight was a strange sensation on her elven skin. For someone so accustomed to the shadows, she wondered what it would be like to live in the light.

Naturally, the Marquis of Pain had plans of his own. The light would be banished from the land. Forever.

Another Kind of Gloom

Omelru may have been out in the wilderness, yet she was not far enough to miss the important news and rumors. Her ears perked up in a lonely, seedy inn.

One of the most renowned murderers escaped from the best guards within Sprawl City. As it happened, he was working for the evil Lord that she was after.

He was last seen in the Lost Forest, and she made haste to follow his trail. Perhaps this was the start of her path.

Sadly, all Omelru found were the remains of the happy man from days ago. What was this senselessness?

The Sculptor of Pain

More gloom settled in near Spine Ridge Pass. Perhaps it was a reaction to the murder, or simply another move by the ever-evil Marquis of Pain.

Night was becoming an entity of its own. Evil denizens crept out of twilight’s gloom. Life was in danger, but it was not only Omelru who fought back against it.

Even in Spine Ridge Pass, a Wild Claw tribe began to fight back against the gloom with their fierce warriors.

If ever there was a reason to hasten her quest, Omelru felt it now. The Marquis of Pain was inching closer. And closer.

Trouble in the Forest

As Omelru retraced her steps on the way back to Sprawl City one day, she discovered a horrible presence in the Lost Forest. It was a horrific Reaper, ready to fight.

Had it sprung up from the horrible murder? She watched it from the shadows, biding her time and pondering away.

Fortunately, Omelru was far from unprepared. She learned the ways of a powerful spell that could be dispatched in moments. Perhaps she should wait to unleash it…

But when the Reaper turned to face her, she banished it from existence in a shower of blinding sparks.

Chapter 1 Completion

The absolute annihilation of the terrible demon seemed to shake the forest to its very core. Omelru was momentarily dazzled. How she missed the world of darkness.

Yet the escaped murderer was somehow involved in this entire plot. She sensed it, or perhaps the Lost Forest spoke to her through the trees. Elvish ways were so mysterious.

Enough time was wasted in the northeastern mountains, but she knew enough to pursue her next lead.

Continual hiding and sneaking slowed her progress. Omelru felt a sense of foreboding that grew with time.

A Cavalier Attitude

The events within the Lost Forest struck at Omelru. She was also an agent of death, but her assassinations always held some sort of personal purpose for her.

Little by little, she felt herself turning against the tides of darkness. When a Skeleton crossed paths with her, she was only too glad to dispatch it without much effort.

She may have been triumphant, but Omelru recognized her weaknesses. After all, sneaking about was temporary.

By this time, she heard whispers of a dark presence behind the gloom. It was nearer than she thought, and deadly.

The End of Chapter 2

Once again, the destruction of an enemy led Omelru closer to her goal. The lost village of Kaylan’s Rest was not far off, and her target was prepared to destroy it.

She thwarted the attempts of his army, but the village leader’s grandson was captured and taken away.

Omelru nimbly followed the captors to a dungeon guarded by none other than a small army of the undead.

Skeletons were no match as she dispatched them by the dozen. There might have been darkness across the land, but the undead were not welcome in Kilforth.

A Dangerous War

Sprawl City was one of the remaining safe places in Kilforth. Omelru made her way back again to avoid the gloom that always settled in after nightfall.

She was unprepared for what would befall the city that night. The gloom itself poured over the walls.

By morning, the land was at war with itself. Even a dark elf was not safe: She barely made it out of the burning city with her life. There would be no turning back now.

Omelru ventured back out into the wilderness. Weeks ago, it was dangerous. Now, it was better than Sprawl City.

An Unusual Source

With the world crumbling around her, Omelru had to locate her target faster than ever. Time was running out, and she still had yet to even consider the Marquis of Pain.

In a remote region still untouched by gloom, she stumbled across a tiny village of surviving humans.

Goodwife Sonya greeted her in a strange, friendly manner. There was a sense of knowing about her, like she held all the secrets of Kilforth within her humble home.

Omelru took the chance of mentioning the evil Lord, and Sonya happily laid out the route to his lair.

The Treasure Cache

Quickly and without pause, Omelru began her race to the western lands of Kilforth. If her luck held, she would make it in time to complete her task and end the Lord’s evil.

She took her time in the Lost Forest, where so much of her journey had happened. Was it a place of good or evil?

The clearing where she first encountered the strange man still seemed safe from the gloom. And with the sunlight streaming down, she spotted something nearby.

Amidst an overgrown thicket was the man’s supply of spirits. And with it? A large cache of wonderful gold.

Confronting the Evil

The gloom was practically choking Kilforth from every direction. Omelru traveled through lands she had once known days ago. Now, all was falling into the shadows.

Her one hope was to confront her target and stop the spread of his evil. But she wondered if it was all too late.

Fortunately, she succeeded in bringing together the Wild Claw tribes to form a united front against the terrible evil.

Even an unusual Sprawl City ally proved to be a key resource. Pastor Kirby questioned her true motivations. This was certainly more than a simple journey.

Every Preparation

The evil Lord was summarily destroyed in his lair in a moment of pure triumph for Omelru. But darkness was on the horizon and Kilforth was doomed. Unless…

She learned that the Marquis of Pain was not far away. There was no time left, but she had an opportunity.

With allies at her side and a crossbow, Omelru raced against the falling darkness. The sun descended behind her, possibly for its last time. Gloom was imminent.

Then, in the distance, she saw him. The Marquis of Pain, bathed in darkness. This was her moment to triumph!

An Explanation of the Final Turn

Please note that I technically cheated a little bit on the final turn. It was obvious I was about to lose, no matter what happened, so I used the regale action twice to complete the saga. Normally, the regale action may only be taken once per turn. But no worries… I was about to lose in one of the most hilarious ways I could muster. Don’t stop now!

Session Overview

Play Number: 2
Expansion: Encounters Expansion Pack
Accessory: Pimp My Gloom Expansion Pack
Solo Mode: Included in the Base Game
Play Details: Warrior Difficulty Level
Required Play Space: 44″ x 28″
Setup Time: 15 Minutes
Play Time: 2 Hours & 30 Minutes
Outcome: 26 Points (Loss)

Omelru lost… With 14 dice to roll. But mostly because she mistook the Orc Raiders for the Marquis of Pain. Oh, no!

%

1 Play

Affordability

Price & Value

6

Functionality

Challenges & Mechanics

9

Originality

Design & Theme

7

Quality

Components & Rules

8

Reusability

Achievement & Enjoyment

8

Variability

Distinctness & Randomness

10

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What do you think of Gloom of Kilforth: A Fantasy Quest Game? Do you see where I went wrong with my character? I ended up taking way too long to complete the saga. At least I know a little more about what to do next time! The narrative depth and variability are immense, and I can’t wait to play again soon. What tales can be told with this game!

6 Comments

  1. A remarkable tale. The downside of it is now I feel bad that Omelru didn’t make it.

    Never played Gloom but Shadows is arriving in the next few days. Looking forward to reading more of your games, maybe pick up a few tips too!

    Reply
    • Thank you! I was a little sad about her demise, too. That was entirely my fault for delaying her saga so much… I kept trying to avoid strangers since she had no influence. Then it dawned on me that she simply had to turn them into enemies and defeat them that way for the keywords.

      But I learned a lot and returned for another play already! Expect another lengthy writeup in the near future. The stories here are just so great. I hope you enjoy the game as much as I currently do!

      Reply
  2. Stories like this are a reminder that it’s been too long since I last adventured in Kilforth… Keep up these awesome session reports! I’m glad I’m not the only one that takes three hours to play this solo 🙂

    Reply
    • Thank you very much! May Kilforth be kind to you when you next play… Or at the very least, filled with excellent stories. Hopefully, your character doesn’t suffer the same fate as Omelru!

      Sometimes I prefer shorter games, but the time really does fly by with this one. I seem to be clocking in around 2 hours and 30 minutes pretty consistently. I’ll take it!

      I played again last night with a completely different character. I think I saw maybe 2 or 3 of the same cards… Such a different experience. That story will take some time to put together, but it’s definitely in the works.

      Thanks again for reading and enjoying this post!

      Reply
  3. Great session review! It’s been on my radar and reading session reviews like this help in my decision, one way or the other. This one definitely leans on the plus side for me!

    Love the formatting as well. Makes for an easy read!

    Reply
    • Thanks, Derek! I should have some proper positives and negatives when I write a review in the near future. There are some things that can be a little frustrating about gameplay, namely in the way of rolling dice, but I absolutely love the narratives. I can’t wait to post another story from my play last night!

      And thank you for the comments about the formatting. I wanted to make things as easy to read as possible, and I’m happy to hear that it seems to be working out nicely.

      Reply

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