Sunday 15 October 2023

Turn 28: The Thrappled Lemmings Take It Easy (Five Leagues from the Borderlands)

 Despite being the physical embodiment of chaos and frequently being barred from local taverns, it appears that the people of Haitabu still have some affection for them. Griselda the Baker's Daughter sent them a basket of her floury baps at no cost and Gunnvor the Butcher sent sausages and some offcuts of various beasts. With these and a few other gifts, the Lemmings did not have to pay for food as they rested and waited for Sir Thiebault to heal.

While the others pursued their own interests, Lysanthir and Fulrad trained. Onesipe took all their loot to the market and sold it. He bought Lysanthir some mystic trinkets and a Scout's Cloak for himself.

Later that day, while perusing the treasure map they had found and analysing the other information they had recently learnt, Lysanthir made a breakthrough. He rushed into the tavern taproom where the others were drinking their dinner.

"I've found it!" he cried, " I know where the Temple of Elemental Evil is. We're going to be rich beyond even our wildest dreams!"

The others ignored him. They had heard this all before. And he had been wrong every single time.

Surprise reveal: Lysanthir was not wrong!

In the meantime, Sir Thiebault had been talking to the tavern owner Helga, who asked if the Lemmings could deliver a letter to her cousin Thorvald in Utstein Marknad. She promised that he would pay them when they delivered it. He put the letter in his backpack and told her they would make sure that Thorvald got the letter next time they were there.

Now that Lysanthir has found the Temple of Elemental Evil, the campaign has a finite end beyond that specified in the rulebook. The Thrappled Lemmings must still defeat the remaining campaign Threats as the rulebook says, but after that, they will attempt the Temple of Elemental Evil delve. It will automatically be the maximum size possible (7 levels) and I am going to work out to what extent I can make it resemble the D&D adventure of the same name, because it is meant to be an epic conclusion to the campaign and this will also play up to my RPG nostalgia. Let's see if they can survive long enough to get there first though.

Turn 27: The Thrappled Lemmings and the Journey Home (Five Leagues from the Borderlands)

 The Lemmings prepared to return to Haitabu. They were able to supplement their supplies with roots and berries thanks to advice from Sir Thiebault, who seemed to be too wounded to do anything much but definitely not wounded enough to stop him barking orders at the rest of them. Fulrad had gone hunting for food but only found some suspicious tracks. Perhaps one of the cultists had survived? Lysanthir had also gone exploring and found 1 congealed strand.

Discussing the tracks with Fulrad and comparing them with notes they had found in the Synod hideout, Lysanthir concluded that the bandits known as the Hooded Men had their hideout near Haitabu. This made sense as they would want to keep an eye on caravans and merchants that could be easy marks. It wasn't like they would wander round in black clothes and badges saying "I am a bandit" after all. Living among those they planned to rob made everything easier for them.

The Lemmings forced the Potion of Valley Mist down Sir Thiebault's throat, packed up and set off for Haitabu. The journey began badly because Sir Thiebault was clearly feeling much better thanks to the potion and insisted on telling them they were going the wrong way and should have turned left at the gibbet, and similar nonsense from the very beginning.

Before they had even got halfway to Haitabu, they were suddenly ambushed by a Goblin war party. Worse yet, the Goblins had a Corrupted Sorcerer with them and they did not look like they wanted to praise the Lemmings for taking down the Synod of Reason. The sorcerer was hanging back on the right flank with a small contingent of Goblins to guard him. Goblin archers had infiltrated the woods to their left, and the ambush was only spoiled by a young Goblin suddenly getting overly enthusiastic and charging straight over the hill towards the Lemmings.

What's that coming over the hill? Is it a goblin?

The Lemmings muttered and grumbled as they hid Sir Thiebault in a bush and drew their weapons to face the onslaught. The initial rush saw Drogo charge the young Goblin, who turned out to have better armour than expected and held off Drogo while his sergeant joined the fray. Lysanthir cast a fog spell to stop the enemy archers shooting, and the others fired off all their arrows at the approaching Goblins.

It was a frenetic start to the battle that saw two of the Goblins and Drogo wounded. Fortunately, Lysanthir was able to reach Drogo quickly and cast a Heal spell on him. Despite the fierce fighting it proved hard to best the Goblins.

Only after what seemed an age did the Lemmings start to get the upper hand. Wido and Onesipe had run out of arrows, and Onesipe was wounded by a Goblin archer, so he drew his sword and moved to support Lysanthir and Drogo. This was the crucial moment. The extra support resulted in the young Goblin and the sergeant being killed. Wido killed another Goblin who had approached from the right flank and prepared to face the last of them. Fulrad sighted on the wounded Goblin archer and killed him. This was too much for the archer on the right flank, who fled. Soon all the Goblins lay dead on the battlefield and only the sorcerer remained.

Seeing the way things were, the sorcerer muttered, "Bugger this for a game of robbers!" He summoned a skeleton and legged it while the skeleton shambled towards the Lemmings. A lone skeleton was no challenge for the might Thrappled Lemmings, and soon all that remained was to loot the corpses and carry on their way. Unfortunately for the Lemmings, all they found was what looked like a treasure map and some bandages.

They carried on their way and had soon reached Haitabu, where they learned that their investment in Karl the Merchant had netted them 8 Marks. It was not a huge profit, but it was still a profit and the Lemmings (apart from Wido) were very much glass half full sort of people.

Back at Haitabu, over a pint or three of the local brew, they learned that the town rangers had been scouting the area to try to make it safe. Joining what they knew with what the rangers had found out resulted in a few dots being joined and Lysanthir felt more certain than ever that he could pin down the location of the temple he was looking for. The map they had found also pointed to opportunities for treasure north of the Hidden Men's hideout, so they might expect even more rich pickings.

That was an interesting fight. This is the first fight I have had where the dice decided that everyone should pass their armour rolls on the first try, even the Goblins, and the toughness rolls were all low too, so it took two hits to kill every Goblin once I finally got past the armour. It was also the first battle where I have successfully cast a Heal spell. The way things were, I think Drogo would have been carried home alongside Sir Thiebault otherwise, assuming he survived.

I thought the Corrupted Sorcerer would be more of a threat, but the speed with which the Goblins died or fled over the course of two turns meant that the sorcerer only rolled to summon skeletons twice, and he fled immediately after rolling the second time. In my head beforehand, I was expecting to face a neverending stream of skeletons that did not happen.

Sunday 8 October 2023

Re-exploring Super Dungeon Explore: Forgotten King

 I bought Super Dungeon Explore: Forgotten King on the recommendation of a guy in a comics/games shop in Cork back in 2016 or so. I've played a few games of it, but not as many as I would have liked. So, it was good to dig it out again this weekend.

The game is a boardgame that is designed to give you the arcade feel. Monsters spawn regularly and attack your heroes, and it feels a bit like games like Gauntlet, but you don't get a voiceover saying "Elf shot the food!" every so often. Also, you can't shoot the food. That is probably a blessing.

Against the Forgotten King Part 1

The heroes are the grey figures on the left of the board. The monsters are all green

I took three characters to face off against the baddies from the base game: The Chevalier, the Warden and the Alchemist. The Silver Chevalier is a melee specialist. The Royal Warden is a missile specialist with a crossbow. The Fae Alchemist is a mage type with special abilities related to potions. I figured this would be a balanced party. It probably was but I played them all wrong. I did read the rules again beforehand, because it is so long since I played, but I now need to read them another time.

"Hey, can I keep this chicken please? I think it likes me!"

So, my heroes entered the first section of the playing area. They took out the spawning point, whittled down the monsters and the first boss came, a mini-boss called Trent, who is a treant. The Chevalier went down quickly, but I had a Princess Coin to spend on a new life for her, so I brought her back. The Alchemist found The Colonel, a chicken whose special ability is to give her an extra attack action. The Warden just did a lot of shooting to no great effect. The Warden charged the second board and took out the spawn point there. A second mini-boss, a bear-serker called Boris, appeared. I should probably have waited, but I am impatient! With two mini-bosses to face and hordes of monsters, my party was easily defeated. This was in part because of lack of familiarity with the rules and misreading the boards (literally!), and in part because of poor tactics. On the plus side, at least I became more familiar with the rules once more.

Against the Forgotten King Part 2

Time to try again. This time I took the Silver Chevalier, a Questing Knight and Princess Emerald. That's two melee types and a princess with a rifle on my side. I had read the rules again quickly, and also realised that I had not noticed the walls on some of the dungeon boards. This was BIG news to me. It also made a difference to my tactics. Funnily enough, despite the realisation about the walls, I also realised towards the end of this game that I had not noticed a wall on one of the boards. It did not make a huge difference, but would have slowed some of the baddies down a bit.

So, the Chevalier was bent on revenge and was going to show that rotten Forgotten King what was what. With her new friends, she approached the Forgotten King's lair afresh. Using the newly discovered walls as cover, she and her friends were able to whittle down the enemy and take out the first spawn point. Trent the Treant emerged from hiding, annoyed at having his Sunday disturbed. Princess Emerald, in particular used the long range of her rifle to pick off the hordes from a distance and draw them away from the Chevalier, who was focused on destroying the second spawn point. She did this and Bashful Boris the Bear-serker also came out to see what the ruckus was all about. Hearing Princess Emerald's rifle shots, he hastened towards her, but not before taking a few swipes and the Chevalier.

A logjam of monsters begins to form

Pretty soon there was a logjam of monsters trying to get past the walls and brambles to Princess Emerald. The others took this opportunity to wade in and pretty soon all of the enemy were dead. The party regrouped and headed out to the last spawn point. Destroying that would entice the Forgotten King out. On the way, they waded into traps and fought giant rabbits with even bigger axes and frog knights on terror birds. Well, something like that anyway. The story seems to change with each can of Irn Bru that the Chevalier drinks.

The Silver Chevalier tells the Forgotten King what she really thinks of him.

Eventually, the Forgotten King was enticed out. The party hurt him but the Chevalier was soon knocked out and the Princess followed. Fortunately, I had enough Princess Coins to respawn them and they returned to the fray where the sheer number of attacks the Forgotten King faced put him down and forced him to retreat to the Underworld again. Phew! It felt tight, but I got there.

Some Thoughts: The Good

Super Dungeon Explore is a pretty good game to play solo. The aggro mechanic (Wrath) that the game uses to decide whom the enemy will focus on works well and is exploitable by the players with a little thought.

The game does have the arcade action feel, and might look amazing if I ever got around to painting the figures, although there is a distinct possibility that my workmanlike style might not achieve the image I have in my head!

Each of the heroes is different and offers different alternatives for play. Some of them require a bit more thought than others though. This is a positive thing, in my view.

The AI for the enemy force is great. You have a deck of options that you draw from each turn. The options range from going turbo on the heroes' posteriors with multiple moves and attacks to griefing the figure with the least Wrath. There are options for stopping to heal, spawning more enemies, if there are any in the spawn pool, and so on. Unlike games like Five Leagues from the Borderlands, you never know quite what the enemy will do. You can expect them to go after the character that has done the most to annoy them, but they don't simply move and fight each turn. It builds a certain extra tension into the game.

The Exploration Cards add some random events, like traps or minor annoyances (Rabid Squirrels that get inside your trousers and slow you down in Forgotten King).

And, being a dungeon crawler, of course there is treasure. When you kill monsters you draw loot cards that you can equip or discard to remove wounds and negative effects. Treasure is good and is important.

There are also quite a lot of different actions that players can take. These lead to meaningful decisions about when to pause and bandage your wounds, what type of attack to make on the enemy, and how to move so that you maximise the damage you do while minimising the damage you receive. It is also important deciding when and how to attack the spawn points. You want to limit the emergence of the enemy, and especially control the emergence of the bosses.

Some Thoughts: The Bad

On the negative side, the rule book is structured according to the turn sequence, but I still spend far too much time flipping through it trying to find the information I need. Some things seem to be scattered in different places under different headings. It makes the game a bit tiring to play. A good quick reference sheet could solve a lot of this, but I do not have one yet. Also, if you play regularly, this will be made less of an issue.

The second negative thing is that the game takes up a lot of table space and would take up even more if I played with the maximum number of heroes. This is not too much of an issue for me at the moment, but it could be at some point.

Thirdly, Super Dungeon Explore takes a while to play. You need to be able to leave it set up or to have several hours free to finish a session. That means it won't work for the typical mid-week gaming night that I am used to. I imagine that playing multi-player would extend that playing time even more to the kind of epic sessions of Talisman that we used to play back when I was young and full of energy.

Finally, the basic game without expansions could get quite samey if you play it a lot. You get four spawn points, two of which are paired, in the base game. A paired spawn point is two spawn points that must always be fielded together and you split the enemies that they spawn between them. This means that a game with three heroes will always have the paired spawn point and one other, and the only difference will be in the order you encounter them. The variety in the game will then come from which heroes you choose and what treasure you find.


Overall, I like this game. It works well as a solo game, despite being quite heavy work when running multiple heroes, which you have to do. It looks great and it gives the right feel during play. It will certainly see my table every so often. However, that is also the issue. I see it as an occasional game, but the rules are such that you need to play more regularly to keep on top of them.

I would also love to try it with multiple players. I can foresee issues with downtime, because not every hero activates every turn, and I do wonder if that might not kill the game as a group activity, but I guess  that depends on how social your gaming sessions are too.

Tuesday 3 October 2023

Somewhere in Northwest Europe, 1986 (Thunderbolt/Apache Leader)

 After the Thrappled Lemmings defeated the cult, I thought I should play something different as a palate cleanser. So, I dug out Thunderbolt/Apache Leader and let my megalomaniac wargamer tendencies loose by choosing the World War 3 North Atlantic scenario with the All Out War situation. That basically means that my squadron will be trying to hold back the red tide with a couple of sticks and an elastic band. Well, not quite but it certainly feels that way.

N.B. This brief AAR should be read with the Airwolf theme playing in the background.

My squadron comprises two A10 Thunderbolts and two AH64 Apaches. I saved a few points for repairs at the start and rather wish I had saved more because my dice rolls for the first two days have been terrible and my planes have far too many bullet holes in them. Worse yet, my pilots are quite quickly becoming fatigued and could well be unable to fly soon.

At the start of the campaign, there were several priority targets that I felt I needed to take out because they had special effects. Two of them reduced the amount of points I get each day for repairs and weaponry. The other increases the chance of enemy assault forces advancing. I took out one of the enemy battalions that penalised my points on the first day but failed to take out the enemy command that increases the chance of enemy assault forces advancing. I really cannot believe how many "anything but a 1" shots rolled 1s in that attack! Then there was the special condition that gave me an MLRS bombardment against the enemy battalion and would destroy units on an 8-10. Over 10 dice rolls and no enemy units were destroyed! But, enough about my dice rolls. As a result of my failures, I now have three enemy assault battalions sitting outside my air force base sucking up my resources. If those forces advance one more step, I am done. I cannot absorb the losses that would result from this.

So, day 3 of the war dawns and my pilots are on the edge of exhaustion. Nevertheless, they get up and get into their planes to do their duty. Whatever happens, they will not be remembered as betraying their comrades and their countrymen. Today, we try to take out the enemy command again. If we can slow their advance, we have a chance.

The first target is the enemy scout group. They give enemy assault units a bonus to advance, and I really need them not to have that if I am to survive another day. I assign two A10s to the task. They cruise through the enemy ranks in two smooth traverses and suddenly all that is left is smoking craters. One of the A10s has some bullet holes in it to add to the existing damage, but that is all. And this despite one of my pilots missing with every single Hellfire missile and having to fly slowly through the enemy using his cannon to take them out.

Viper and Gumby head home knowing they have done a great job

The second target is the enemy forward command. It prevents my pilots from destressing when they don't fly. I assign the AH64s to this one. My goal is to reduce the command to half strength so that its special effect does not apply. The AH64s start one on each side of the battlefield.

Rock (right) goes high while Shadow (left) goes low

Command has mandated that one of them has to make a high approach. This makes it vulnerable to the enemy AAA Site and it quickly gains new holes in it. Fortunately, Rock is rock steady and holds it together. Taking aim carefully, he looses his LAU-68s (it's all I could afford!) at the enemy AAA and misses with every single one. Shadow, on the other hand, uses his cannons to good effect and leaves a trail of smoking SCUDS and AAA Sites behind him.The two pilots rendezvous over the main concentration of the enemy, only for Rock's Apache to gain more holes as an enemy helicopter appears.

Rock has been less than careful with his helicopter

Shadow takes it out but it's clearly time for Rock to skedaddle, assuming he can make it home. Shadow takes out one more SCUD and that is mission accomplished. The command is at half strength and the guys at the airbase can relax a bit.

Just enough destroyed units to weaken the enemy command. Phew!

As the day ends, I find that Gumby has gone up a level from Average to Skilled as a result of his run through the enemy scout unit. Rock is a twitching wreck in the pilots' mess and will not be flying for quite a while now, but the other pilots are feeling a bit better and will be fine to stand in for him for a while.

Better yet, some enemy units are starting to retreat. Hitting the scout unit has had its effect. Unfortunately, my very last dice roll for moving enemy battalions sees one of them advance right up to my air base. Game over. I don't have enough resource points to compensate for that so I have lost.

I really like this game, despite this particular campaign being plagued by budget cuts and generals who buy their supplies from Honest Harry's Used Harriers ("Only one careful lady owner, guv, honest, and she only used it for shopping trips at weekends."), or crappy dice rolls as some others might call it. The key points for this campaign were failing to reduce the enemy units that had special effects early enough. I could have done it but just kept missing with my Hellfire missiles. It makes me wonder if I should have focused more aircraft on key targets early on, bought cheaper aircraft and swamped the enemy, or just bought new dice. I shall try all of these next time I play. What a great way to spend a couple of evenings.

Saturday 30 September 2023

Turn 26: The Thrappled Lemmings and the Sleep of Reason Part 2 (Five Leagues from the Borderlands)

 The Lemmings had reached the Synod hideout. As they had come to expect, eldritch fog rolled in as they neared it, cutting down visibility and chilling them to the bone. As if that was not clue enough, the mutated fungi that had replaced the tree growth here was a bit of a hint too. The cultists were spread out on guard while their leaders and a select group of members were performing a ritual in the stone circle near the houses they lived in.

The Thrappled Lemmings (bottom right) fail their first and only sneak roll of the game

Wido crept forward through the undergrowth. It was heavy going and he made too much noise pushing through. A sentry heard him and yelled a warning to the other cultists. Suddenly a horde of maddened cultists were charging towards the Lemmings. Worse yet, these looked better armed and armoured than previous cultists they had dealt with.

Cultists start to become possessed by maddened revenants

In the first rush, Wido, Onesipe and Fulrad let fly all of their bolts and arrows. They wounded and killed several cultists but were now out of ammunition. Drogo, Lysanthir and Sir Thiebault moved to engage the cultists in melee and the others followed them up. Suddenly, the wounded cultists seemed to burst and undead monstrosities emerged from the tatters of their skin. Lysanthir cast a barrier spell to slow one of the undead down, but they all advanced implacably as the remaining cultists also charged.

Lysanthir falls, mauled by a maddened revenant

The Lemmings fought desperately against the onslaught. Drogo and Sir Thiebault were both wounded. Onesipe rushed between them bandaging their wounds while the others slowly whittled down the remaining cultists, trying to kill them before they could become possessed. The only saving grace was that Drogo and Sir Thiebault managed to kill the cultists' leaders in hard fought melees. Suddenly Lysanthir cried out. The revenant had felled him.

The others redoubled their efforts only to see the revenants' wounds healing before their very eyes. they fought on and focused on taking out the revenants one at a time. The Lemmings knew how to fight as a unit, despite their rugged individualism, and worked together to cut down each revenant in turn.

Sir Thiebault copies Lysanthir and crashes to the ground, cut down by a revenant

Suddenly Sir Thiebault cried out in pain as a revenant attacked him from behind and cut him down. The remaining Lemmings focused their efforts on this last revenant. It took time because the creature healed almost as fast as they could wound it, and it was strong and capable in the fight. At least it lay dead again and they had time to breathe, loot the dead and check their own fallen. As it expired, the eerie fog rolled back and the chill departed.

Lysanthir struggled groggily to his feet as Wido and Fulrad checked his purse to see if he was still alive. he had just been knocked out. Sir Thiebault was in a much worse state and bleeding from several bad wounds. He would take a while to recover.

With their wounded sorted out, the Lemmings started the really serious business of looting the place. They found various art objects that would sell well and a fine longbow that Drogo took. The cultists also had some battered weapons that they Lemmings reckoned they could sell and 2 Marks in gold.

The cultists' houses did not look like they were too infested with anything, so the Lemmings settled in there. They would return to Haitabu in the morning and see what they could earn from their travails.

"Heh," muttered Sir Thiebault weakly, "At least we made sure the beer supplies won't stop, eh?"

The others agreed. This raid could have cost them their leaders, but it had destroyed the Synod of Reason as a force in Utavoll.

Well, that could have gone worse. I got lucky. The bad guys did not get any reinforcements and Lysanthir just took a bump to the head so he will not miss any campaign turns. Sir Thiebault was moderately wounded and will miss 6 turns. Better yet, this has reduced the cultists to 0 Threat, meaning that they are no longer an organised threat. Isolated pockets of them can still be found, but that is all.

I think this is the first time I have faced an enemy force where all the enemies had combat bonuses and higher toughness than my guys. I used up all my remaining story points rerolling armour checks and spent time bandaging wounds to keep my main warriors in the fight. Without the bandages and story points, this could have gone a lot worse. The rolls to see if wounded cultists transformed into maddened revenants were nervewracking. With Toughness 5 and regeneration, the revenants are relatively hard to put down, especially when you keep rolling 1s for the Armour or Toughness rolls!

With the cultist threat no more, this was a satisfying denouement to the campaign against them. It felt dangerous enough that the Lemmings could have failed which makes the victory sweeter. After the lack of respect shown to them by the brigands, the Lemmings are very tempted to go after the bandit threat next, but they need a beer first.

Turn 26: The Thrappled Lemmings and the Sleep of Reason Part 1 (Five Leagues from the Borderlands)

 Lysanthir was grumpy. Someone had pickpocketed him and stolen 2 Marks. It wasn't the money that annoyed him; He had recouped that by selling spare weapons at the market. No, it was the lack of respect. I mean, who would pickpocket the area's most famous adventuring band? Some people needed a lesson in respect. If he ever got his hands on them, they would learn...

Meanwhile, Wido and Fulrad were training again, and Wido was definitely improving. He was also admiring his new bow that he they had recovered from the cultists. Turns out he was not a bad shot either.

Lysanthir reckoned they were ready and that it was time. Time to take the fight all the way to the Whispers from Beyond. He and the rest of the Lemmings gathered their gear and headed out. They had known where the Cultists had their hideout for some time, but it had not seemed important until the beer supplies were threatened. Well, he and his group would soon fix that.

The Lemmings groaned in unison. How many times before had they heard "Your money or your life?" from some random group of rag-tag brigands? Well, here were more of the sods needing a lesson in respect. And that barricade was not going to help them!

Brigands! Fahsands of 'em!

The Lemmings formed up in line and prepared to advance. As they did so, a horde of brigands raced out of the wooded hill to their right. For once, instead of bickering, the Lemmings formed up and manoeuvred as one! Sir Thiebault, Drogo and Lysanthir moved to engage them while Onesipe, Fulrad and Wido let fly with their bows. Wido's shot was true and the enemy archer behind the barricade died instantly. Onesipe's shot wounded the brigand leading the charge and Sir Thiebault finished him off.

As the brigand ambushers closed with the Lemmings, they soon found they were outmatched. Drogo had a close call but a low-hanging branch deflected a blow that could have felled him. Soon, the whole ambush party was dead.

The brigand leader yelled "Leg it!" and the rest of the brigands ran for their lives. With that, the Lemmings got down to the serious business of looting the corpses. Despite being impoverished, one of the brigands had clearly got lucky as he was wearing a pair of magical boots, and there was a war spear and a warhammer that had clearly seen better days but could still be sold for beer tokens.

"Reckon they learned some respect now," announced Wido as the Lemmings continued their journey.

In a surprise turn of events, I rolled six ones for initiative for the Lemmings on the first turn which meant all of them got to act before the brigands. Wido then rolled a 6 to hit the brigand archer and killed him instantly. This put paid to what I thought ought to be the brigand plan: an ambush party that closes while the archer snipes from behind the barricade. As it was, the archer never got off a shot and the entire ambush party was killed in the course of two turns. All of the remaining brigands then failed their morale checks and ran.

I did use a story point to keep Drogo on his feet. One brigand rolled rather too many sixes to hit him and he would have been out of it for the main part of this turn. Fortunately, the reroll bounced off his armour.

Sunday 24 September 2023

Turn 25: The Thrappled Lemmings Fight For Their Right To Party (Five Leagues from the Borderlands)

 "Report, Sibling Ferdamadur!" barked the person in the dark blue robes.

"I done enter the village of Elsfjord at great risk to my soul, Elder Sibling. There I seen debauchery and unreason beyond measure. There was an owner of a den of iniquity letting these Thrappled Lemmings drink fer free. He plied 'em wi' beer and encouraged others to do t'same."

"Diction, Sibling Ferdamadur. Diction. It is not reasonable to be sloppy of speech!"

"Soz 'ard, umm, I mean, sorry, Elder Sibling. So, they drank beyond the point of unreason to the visit of the heron of forgetfulness. They were loud and not composed in the slightest. Never once did I see anyone suggest moderation. Worse yet, the visitors to this den of sin were gambling their hard-earned gold away. I have never seen such careless behaviour before. These Thrappled Lemmings and these monkish brewers are a threat to all that we hold dear, Elder Sibling. Worse yet, even after all that, they were up and about the next morning as if nothing had happened. I saw two of their number, the Skinny Spearman and the Smelly Archer training while their leader, the Fey, traversed the market and sold the goods they looted from our Siblings' corpses."

As the twitchy cultist spoke and expanded upon the description, the Elder Sibling became twitchier and their anger could be discerned in the rigid stance their body adopted. Had one been able to see beneath the mask made from a fallen Enemy of Reason's skull, one might have seen spittle collect in the corners of their mouth. One might have seen their face redden and twist into a mask of pure anger.

"This aggression against reason shall not abide! Rally the Whisperers. We attack at dawn. We shall wipe this blot of unreason from the map."

The Elder Sibling retired to their tent while Sibling Ferdamadur informed the other Whisperers of the plan. 

As the morning light turned blue and the first rays of sunlight crept above the horizon, the Whisperers gathered on the edge of Elsfjord. Today they would strike a blow for their fallen Siblings and for Reason by slaying the Thrappled Lemmings and destroying the brewers of unreason.

"Hah! See how the villagers flee their barricades! They fear us, as is only logical." The Elder Sibling was triumphant. Today they would be one step closer to summoning the Host of Whispers and bringing about the End of Unreason.

"Elder Sibling, those ones are not fleeing. They hurry towards us instead."

The Lemmings get the initiative and storm towards the barricade in the centre

"Do not worry, Sibling Ferdamadur. Those are the Thrappled Lemmings. We outnumber them and it is only logical that our numbers shall tell against them. See how they rush to their DOOM!"

"Onwards, my Siblings," yelled Elder Sibling, "Take the barricades and cut the Lemmings down!"

The Elder Sibling led the way to the central barricade followed by two of the Sibling Whisperers. Their archer and two other Siblings were on their right flank. Three Siblings lurked in the woods on their left flank. Their job was to outflank the Lemmings and cut them down from behind.

The Elder Sibling did not consider that the villagers might have thought it more dangerous to stand beside the Thrappled Lemmings than against the Whisperers.

Drogo and Wido get first blood

"Elder Sibling, avenge me!" cried Sibling Farrah as Drogo cut her down.

"And me," cried Sibling Atli with Wido's spear through his middle.

As the Siblings advanced from their left flank, they faced the Fey and the Mad Axeman, while the Smelly Archer had sneaked around the side and was able to wound one of them.

"Elder Sibling, the ambush has failed!"

"Fight harder, my Siblings!" yelled the Elder Sibling just before the Knight leapt the barricade and sliced deeply through the Elder Sibling's side before cutting their head off with the return blow. The Sibling beside the Elder sought revenge against the Knight, but the match was uneven and he slumped to the ground dead before he had even leveled his sword.

As the Siblings' right flank advanced to the grassy knoll in the centre of the village, the Crossbowman planted a bolt in Sibling Archer, wounding him. The Skinny Spearman charged and slew Sibling Smith in a very uneven contest.

The fight centres on the barricade in the centre, the grassy knoll to the left and the alley to the right

Meanwhile, Sibling Feltardson had engaged the Smelly Archer and was winning the fight, only for the Mad Axeman to cut down Sibling Ryggjasdottir, who had been guarding his back. The Fey leapt over her corpse and cut Sibling Feltardson down from behind.

Sibling Feltardson is treacherously cut down from behind

Sibling Ferdamadur looked at Sibling Archer. They were the last two standing.

"I only joined for the social events," muttered Sibling Ferdamadur sourly, "I thought it would be a good chance to meet chicks while dancing naked in the moonlight."

"Yeah, me too," replied Sibling Archer, "Bugger this for a game of cultists. Let's leg it."

The two Siblings took to their heels and removed their robes as soon as they were out of sight.