Wednesday 30 November 2022

Welcome to Utavoll (Five Leagues from the Borderlands)

 I picked up Five Leagues from the Borderlands earlier this year and am looking forward to trying it. I am busily painting 15mm baddies for the game. It will be a wee while before I am ready to play, but I got excited and started on the map which is at a stage where it is now fit to be shared, if not fully done.

Welcome to Utavoll

Utavoll is terra incognita. It is a land to the east of the known world where people are settling. The coastal regions are are relatively well settled now, but dark things are stirring and brave murder hobos are needed to tame this new land for elf and dwarf and human alike. Enter our heroes. Their names are unknown at the moment. All we know is that they are sailing from Nurthvaygr even as I type. We know that they will seek to make land at one of the coastal settlements, so let us look at the area they will arrive in.

The coastal settlements of Utstein and Elsfjord are natural landing spots. The swamps to the west of Haitabu are not a great place to land and anywhere else on the coast is too unpopulated to be useful. Haitabu is a seasonally occupied nomadic camp. It has a small permanent population but local nomads congregate there in larger numbers at regular intervals. Fikaby is a small farming community of the most anti-social settlers, pushing into the wilderness to break new ground and avoid what passes for the authorities in Utavoll.

Utavoll (1 hex = 50 miles)

Orkheim in the north-east is a known camp or staging area for the hostile orc forces in this area. The orcs are a major threat to the people settling the area, although some have suggested that the reverse is really the case.

The Hooded Men are a gang of outlaws whose goal is to enrich themselves at the cost of the peaceful settlers and who need a better name but my imagination is lacking right now. Their numbers are unknown but we know that they have a camp in the Myrkved Woods.

The Synod of Reason in the south-east is a cult of necromancers who seek immortality as liches. Their rituals raise the dead and send them against the living. By consuming the life force of the living, these foul sorcerers bolster their own life force. When they have enough, they can perform an unspeakable ritual to convert their living bodies to undead ones with all their powers intact.

White Peak Delve is a known dungeon in the central mountains and there is a known area of interest in the far north-east that has not yet been explored.

This, then, is the map at the start of the campaign. I created the map in Campaign Cartographer 3+ using the Mike Schley hex style. I like how it looks and can easily update it as new areas of interest appear. It still needs some fettling for me to be fully happy with it, but it is perfectly usable as is. There is plenty of unexplored wilderness and I have a field to the left of the map where I can type up hex locations and their contents as they are added to the game.

We'll see how it goes, but I have a certain desire to play this as a hex crawl as my warband explores the area and maps it. Not sure how that will work out, but it could be fun to try.

I already know which baddies I shall be using, based on what I already have available to me, so it is just a case of cracking on with the painting. I'm going to be playing in 15mm and the figures are a mix of historical Vikings and Normans from Two Dragons Productions (now sold by Caliver Books) and Demonworld from Ral Partha. I have plans to add figures from Alternative Armies because they have a decent range of the monsters that will occasionally turn up.

So, that's the game set-up. I had better get back to the painting table so that I can play sooner rather than later.

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