Wednesday 14 December 2022

Turn 4: The Thrappled Lemmings Seek Out a Reward (Five Leagues from the Borderlands)

Starting Location: Wilderness (Hex 0709)

Local Events

Fulrad, the oldest member of the party grumbled all day.

"I'm getting too old for this shit," he announced to everyone at regular intervals.

Hard Times

The party needed feeding well after the recent fights (3 Marks). Sir Thiebault passed round the rations and they ate a hearty meal. It had been a while since they had eaten this well or food this solid. Most of their meals seemed to be liquid.

Campaign Activities

Sir Thiebault went out hunting again and brought back a couple of deer (3 Rations).

Lysanthir set out to do his own foraging for mystical supplies, but returned with nothing.


Having eaten their fill, the Thrappled Lemmings set out to return the mayor's hat to Haitabu. The journey is uneventful and they quickly reach the town. The mayor is absolutely delighted and is soon strutting around town in the tallest, shiniest hat the Lemmings have ever seen. The mayor is so delighted, in fact, that he pays the Lemmings 7 Marks for their troubles!

News Travels

While talking about their exploits in a tavern tent, the Wido hears a rumour that a new delve has been found near Elsfjord Kloster. It lies in a ruin near the Kloster and there are many rumours about its denizens, but none are reliable.

With the creation of all these new locations within the same hex, I think I am going to have to start mapping individual hexes to ensure there is room. Also, so many dungeons, so little time.

Turn 3 (Part 2 of 2): The Thrappled Lemmings and the Mayor's Hat Delve (Five Leagues from the Borderlands

   Starting Location: Mayor's Hat Delve (Hex 0709) 

This delve uses the map Ruins of the Sorcerer's Keep from Heroic Maps on WargameVault. I rescaled it to 66% of its full size when printing it so that it suited my 15mm figures and that gives a playing area roughly 2'x2'. After playing the game, I think I should have printed out some doors to make the entrances clearer, but also added some secret doors where there are none marked so that the party had a choice of routes. As it stands, there was really just a single path through the dungeon with a couple of side tours into rooms. It worked fine, but was also a bit slow as I spent the first half of the game just moving everyone around until they finally met up.


After meeting resistance on the way, the Thrappled Lemmings finally reached the ruined keep. The hat must be in there, so they knew they had to go in. The only way in was through the front gate, unless they fancied swimming or climbing the walls. They did not fancy either of those options, so they pushed aside the rotting timbers of the main gate and entered the first part of the keep. Lysanthir's skin prickled. He could feel the magic that had seeped into the very stones of the structure.

Fulrad was the party's scout, so he was volunteered to enter the keep first and check it out. He pushed gingerly past the others and into the keep's interior. It was dark inside in spite of the age and ruinous state of the keep. Something was keeping the structure together despite the best efforts and weather and age. Checking the entrance as he went, he suddenly spotted an anomaly. Checking further, he realised that there was a secret entrance here leading to a passage. It looked unused in a long time, so he relayed the information to the rest of the party and they prepared to move into the keep first.

This exploration result adds another unexplored area to this hex.

The group made their way into the keep along a long passage that was once probably a killzone for invaders. It was quiet ... too quiet.

Meanwhile, skeleton patrols were all over the other side of the keep. The skeleton captain and its squad reached their objective (2) and turned around to patrol on to their next objective (1).

The blue markers are Soldier IDs from Warfighter. They ones in the rooms on their own are exploration markers. The ones with the groups of skeletons (3 groups of 3 skeletons) are reminders of where they are going. The skeletons will patrol from one exploration marker to another random one until they are alerted to the presence of the party. If I had thought it through, I could have used a different colour of Soldier ID for this. The star counter represents the hat.

As the party waded into brackish water to explore further into the keep, another skeleton patrol reached its objective (4) and prepared to continue its patrol to its next checkpoint (3).

As the Lemmings waded out of the brackish water, the third patrol reached its objective (6) and turned towards its next one (4).

The party moved forward to a junction. Drogo and Sir Thiebault took up station next to a door, supported by Fulrad. The others headed along a corridor to what turned out to be a big room with mystical markings on the floor and a table with mildewed and rotting papers at one end. Onesipe was first in and found a Delver's Kit lying on the floor near the body of a previous delver. He grabbed it. The others took up station behind the warriors and waited for Onesipe to catch up. There was nowhere else to go, so they would have to go through this door. Meanwhile, one skeleton party had reached its objective (3) and got ready to turn around to head for its next marker (5).

One exploration marker down, two to go to achieve the objective, although the party will need to get to the hat and retrieve it or destroy all the skeletons to hold the field and recover it.

Drogo stepped through the door to the room and came face to face with a skeleton. His attack drove the skeleton back, but he was too surprised by the encounter to press his advantage. Sir Thiebault tried his hand next and crushed one of the skeletons with a single blow. Wido and Fuldar moved to the door to provide support. They could not push past Sir Thiebault and Drogo without causing too much chaos.

Drogo stepped in to face another skeleton but could not do more than push it back again. Sir Thiebault and showed him how it was done. Two skeletons down and he had done it so quickly, he had time to grab the armour it was wearing.

Sir Thiebault explores the exploration marker and acquires magical armour (Traitor's Harness) from the Exploration Marker. Two markers down.

The skeleton captain stepped in to attack Sir Thiebault. The captain was a tougher opponent and smashed Sir Thiebault to the ground. Fulrad stepped into the room and smashed the captain up with his arrows. Three skeletons down.

The Thrappled Lemmings formed up to take on whatever other horrors this keep might throw at them and to protect Sir Thiebault. It was as well they did, for more skeletons marched through the door at this point.

Wido moved to one side to give Onesipe a shot. He hit the skeleton and wounded it. Onesipe fired a second shot as fast as he could and took out the skeleton while the others marched inexorably towards the party. Drogo charged the rearmost skeleton and once more failed to hurt one of the undead monstrosities. Wido joined him and wounded the foremost skeleton but was driven back by it. Fuldar shot and missed once more.

Fuldar shoots at the wounded skeleton but realises he is out of ammunition. The skeletons turn on Drogo who is knocked back, stunned by a blow to the head. Onesipe then does him a favour by destroying another skeleton. In all this, Lysanthir has been cheering from the sidelines, unable to push past Onesipe.

The remaining skeleton attacks Drogo and clubs him to the ground. Onesipe shoots and wounds it. Fulrad charges up to support Wido who crushes the skeleton. Meanwhile, the last skeleton patrol has reached its objective (4) and turns around to march back down the corridor again.

As the skeletons march closer, Wido opens the door to the next room and sees the floor covered in sticky goo that will be difficult to move through. He chooses not to.

Three exploration markers cleared. Delve objective achieved. Now for the hat.

Onesipe shot as the skeletons got to pointblank range wounding the leading one. Wido charged in and finished it off. Lysanthir entered the fray and wounded the next one.

Both Lysanthir and Wido attacked the wounded skeleton but all they could do was drive it back in a flurry of blows that saw each of them giving ground in turn. The skeleton attacked Wido and he turned the tables, finally destroying it. The next skeleton attacked Wido and pushed him back. Fulrad stepped into the gap left by Wido. Slowly but surely, he whittled it down. Suddenly peace broke out as the Lemmings had once more held the field. They retrieved the hat and found out that there were stairs down into the vaults under the keep. They could check those out another time. First, they settled down to lick their wounds and camp for the night before returning to claim their reward for a fulfilled contract.

Post-Battle Resolution

1 Adventure point gained for defeating a captain.

Sir Thiebault was lucky and had just been knocked out. The party administered Silvertree Leaf to Drogo and it turned out that he too was only winded. I had to use a point of luck to keep Sir Thiebault alive here or he would have been dead, dead, dead. Drogo's first roll would have seen him out of the game for several turns so I used the last of my Silvertree Leaf and got lucky on the roll.


Lysanthir goes up a level and gains a Casting increase.

Wido goes up a level and gains a Combat increase.


The party finds light armour and a helmet.

News Travels:

Being in the wilderness and off the beaten path, there is no news to speak of, unless you count Wido learning to belch a popular tavern song.

Final Thoughts

I keep forgetting that some of my characters have luck points and that I can use story points along the way. Had I remembered, I could have saved my warriors from the humiliation of being knocked out. That said, the way Drogo was rolling, he deserved it!

Tuesday 13 December 2022

Turn 3 (part 1 of 2): The Thrappled Lemmings Are Ambushed (Five Leagues from the Borderlands)

  Starting Location: Wilderness (Hex 2000) 

Local Events

The Thrappled Lemmings spend the first of many nights under the stars as they travel towards the area that had attracted their attention on their way out. Wido might be a wily rogue but his roguishness could not stop his armour rusting and deteriorating on the journey. His armour is now damaged.

Hard Times

With no money for supplies, the party must live off the land, relying on their scouts to bag game to eat.

Campaign Activities

Sir Thiebault takes the opportunity of travelling the country to hunt. He bags game to the value of 3 Rations.


As the party passes by Haitabu on the way to the unexplored area, the town council approaches them with an offer. If they will retrieve the mayoral hat from a nearby location, the town will pay d6+1 Marks.

"In cold hard cash?" asks Lysanthir. Upon receiving an affirmative reply, he instantly responds, "We'll do it! Come, Thrappled Lemmings, let us away. We have a task to complete."

Contract: Retrieve item from unexplored location in Hex 0709


The party abandons their intention of exploring the other area and immediately heads for the site where the mayoral hat was lost, a ruined keep to the south-west (Hex 0709). The Thrappled Lemmings understand the importance of a good hat, and will not see the mayor do without. They gather their things, not that doing that takes them long, and march off.

They had been travelling for a couple of days when suddenly shouts arose from either side of them. A band of petty robbers assailed the Thrappled Lemmings.

"There's someone lurking up ahead," announced Fuldar, the group's designated scout.

"Quick," ordered Sir Thiebault, "Off the road and into those bushes there. Take cover."

"Look, there they are," yelled Wido.

The robbers had been attempting to sneak up on the Thrappled Lemmings, but one of their number proved to be particularly clumsy, and addicted to wearing shiny things. He was quite easy to spot. Now that the Thrappled Lemmings could see them, the robbers consisted of a rather ragged looking group of humans and orcs. One of their number was slightly better armed and looked slightly better nourished, but that did not say much!

Sir Thiebault and Drogo quickly knocked back the party's supply of Ironshield Root and it was time for the Thrappled Lemmings to go on the offensive. They did this by letting the bandits advance on their position. They knew that the bandits would have to close to be able to use their missile weapons, and they hoped to take advantage of this with their own bows. Unfortunately, Onesipe's shot went wild and Fuldar nearly broke his bow string. The others remained in cover and awaited the right moment to charge.

The enemy slingers closed the range again. Once chanced a long range shot but missed. The other moved quickly into the cover of some rocks near a pond. The rest of the enemy advanced.

Onesipe and Fulrad missed again. Lysanthir cast Fog on the spot where the enemy slinger was lurking by the pond. The others continued to hold their position.

Again, a sling stone whirled past Onesipe, while the other slinger advanced from his position of cover, unable to see while the Fog spell was in effect. The rest of the enemy advanced too.

Onesipe missed again, but Fulrad did not. An arrow pierced the enemy and killed him. Drogo charged an enemy slinger and cleaved him in two with one mighty blow. Sir Thiebault charged the enemy sergeant. The sergeant quickly turned the tables and Sir Thiebault found himself desperately blocking with his shield and only able to push the seargeant back in the end. Wido dived into the fray and skewered his opponent easily.

"That's how you do it, yer lordship," he quipped.

Lysanthir charged and cut open his opponent. Four of the enemy were now down. This was enough to make the remaining enemy slinger flee for his life.

Sir Theibault seemed to be evenly matched with the sergeant, after the initial flurry of blows and the two pushed each other back and forth without scoring a hit. Lysanthir was also held to a draw by the robber he charged.

The robber retaliated and knocked Lysanthir to the ground. One of the robbers attacked Onesipe who pushed it back. The robber sergeant leapt back into the fray and pushed Sir Thiebault back, but again no wounds were scored.

Onesipe tried to shoot a robber but realised he was out of ammunition. Fuldar shot the robber who had downed Lysanthir and killed him. Drogo charged the sergeant from behind and slew him in a couple of swift blows. This was too much for the final robber who fled screaming. The Thrappled Lemmings held the field.

Post-Battle Resolution

Lysanthir was just winded and will continue with the search for the mayor's hat (Used Lucky Break to ignore the really bad rolls on the injuries table).


Sir Thiebault goes up a level and gains the Traveling skill.

Drogo goes up a level and gains 1 Will.

Fulrad gains the Scouting skill.


The party loot the corpses and recover a suit of Fine Light Armour. This is given to Wido, whose armour is in bad repair. Fulrad gets Wido's armour on the grounds that he should not need it as much, being an archer.

Moving On

With the enemy dead, the Thrappled Lemmings continue on to where the mayor said his hat was taken. Exploring the location reveals a Delve at this location. Something has set up home under the ruins of this keep and now the Thrappled Lemmings need to give it a lesson in not stealing important hats.

Sunday 11 December 2022

Turn 2: The Thrappled Lemmings Find Nothing (Five Leagues from the Borderland)

 Starting Location: Utstein Marknad (Hex 0303) 

Local Events

The local caravan has attracted all kinds of people. Turns out that some of them have sticky fingers and the Thrappled Lemmings suddenly find their entire warchest has disappeared to pickpockets.

Hard Times

With no money in the purse, they are once more forced to help the town guard in order to pay off their bar tab.

Campaign Activities

While the others are patrolling with the town guard, Sir Thiebault goes off foraging for herbs and returns with two doses of Ironshield Root after a particularly successful expedition.


Lysanthir continues his search for the location of the the hidden temple he had heard about. He questions the merchants from the caravan that arrived in town as they were returning from fending off the orcish raiders. Unfortunately, the travelling entertainer whose leads seemed most promising turned out to be full of hot air. I spent 4 adventure points spent to achieve the milestone of locating this delve and rolled a 5, so it has not yet been located.


With the party's bar tab being so high, they decide to leave Utstein for a while and travel to a map location (Unexplored Location hex 2000) that they have been told offers opportunities for enrichment if they first explore it.

As they travel, they spot an interesting feature in the distance. Lysanthir makes a note of it on his map. The Thrappled Lemmings decide to focus on their original objective and head to the new one later.

When they reached there, Onesipe quickly found tracks of what looked like a monster, but further scouting did not find a monster lair. The party berated him for not being better at finding treasure and made camp. Perhaps there were better chances for loot at the other place they had passed on the way here.

News Travels

Nothing of note is happening

Saturday 10 December 2022

Turn 1: The Thrappled Lemmings at Utstein Marknad (Five Leagues from the Borderland)

Starting Location: Utstein Marknad (Hex 0303) 

Local Events

 The Thrappled Lemmings are in town, but their funds are going to run out pretty quickly, given the way that they drink. Nevertheless, going to the pub was the right choice. As they bought some rather poor quality ale for too much money, the group talked to the locals and the visitors. There were tales of danger and delves to be done, but some elements of one of the stories struck a chord with Lysanthir. Could this be their first clue about the Temple they sought? One of the locals spoke of a tale of an elemental cult that had a temple near a village in Utavoll when an ancient and long lost kingdom ruled this area. Traces of the kingdom's remains can still be seen, but little else is known about it.

So, talking to the locals nets the Lemmings 1 Adventure Point. They are going to need to head out and do daring deeds to make a few Marks to pay for their bar tab though.

Campaign Activities

Given the success of talking in the pub, half the party stays there and carries on drinking (Meet the Locals). Buying round after round buys lots of friends and Lysanthir is able to tease out more of the story about the Temple ruins and the lost kingdom.

Sir Thiebault, Drogo and Fuldar spend their time helping the town guard to pay for the party's bar tab which extended beyond the party's ability to pay.


Further discussions in the pub yield no further information so the party decide that they need to head out, especially upon discovering that they still have a bar tab outstanding.


Given the threat that the orcs pose to the human settlements, the party decide to take the fight to the orcs and Battle the Enemy Threat. The locals told Lysanthir and his mercenaries that orcs have been active the area and have pillaged local farms. No doubt they will be too busy Counting their Loot (+1 Mark if hold the field) right now and should be easy to sneak up on. The locals fear that the orcs are Gathering Information with a view to mounting an invasion and wiping out Utstein.

"Never fear," says Sir Thiebault, "We shall deal with them. Come, my comrades, we ride now!"

The Thrappled Lemmings quickly found the site of the latest raid. A pair of archers, a spearorc and an orc captain were present, but there were signs that there were still more orcs present in the area. The party needed to drive off the orcs and check for survivors before a larger force could make its presence felt. They could then rally the locals and bring back a larger force of their own to drive off these felons.

Knowing the orcs' hatred for elves, Sir Thiebault decided to use Lysanthir as bait to draw off the orcs while he and Drogo searched for survivors. He did not tell Lysanthir this though.

"Lysanthir, Osenipe, Fulrad and Wido, stay together and take the right flank. Advance towards the house and look for survivors and loot there. Drogo and I will take the left flank and swing round to that copse over there. It looks a likely place for survivors and provides a good chance to scout the rest of the area from cover."

Lysanthir looked doubtful about the two best warriors going off together, but agreed anyway. Sir Thiebault was the tactical expert here and should know what he was doing. He stepped into the open and cast a Wall of Fire across a gap between the farmhouse and the scrub ground. That would slow the enemy but not stop them. Still, he needed to give the party all the time he could so they could successfully scout the area without being hammered by the orcs, especially as it appeared orcish reinforcements were on their way.

The orcs saw Lysanthir and immediately charged towards him.

As not quite planned, the party then split up. Sir Thiebault raced to the left flank, as he had stated he would. Drogo raced for the other left flank. Onesipe and Fulrad stayed in the cover of their copse and fired at one of the orc archers but neither hit their target, and Wido stayed with Lysanthir to protect him.

Drogo raced for the shelter of a small copse of trees, while Sir Thiebault moved into the rough ground near the farm. Onesipe let fly another crossbow bolt, but missed while Fulrad made his shot count, taking out the orcish archer with an arrow to the eye.

The other orcish archer moved into position to shoot at Lysanthir. The spearorc and his captain moved at full speed towards Lysanthir. By this time, Sir Thiebault could see the orcish reinforcements.

"Orcs!" He yelled, "Three of them!"

Lysanthir bravely turned his tail and fled in the opposite direction of the orcs advancing on him, taking cover behind the hill the party had started on. Wido bravely followed him to protect him.

The remaining orcish archer moved to a position where he could see Lysanthir once more. All the other orcs charged towards the poor Mystic too.

Onesipe fired a bolt that took the enemy captain through the shoulder but left him still upright. Fulrad moved to a position where he had a better shot at the enemy captain but then realised he was out of ammunition. He cursed.

Drogo moved to the farmhouse but found no survivors there. Sir Thiebault turned to attach the archer behind him but was pushed back and the two paused in the battle, breathing hate at each other. In an unaccustomed display of bravery, Wido turned and confronted the orcish captain. A single thrust of his spear was enough to take the captain down.

Lysanthir moved into the cover of a nearby copse and cast a barrier spell between Wido and the advancing orcs. They would still keep coming but it would take them longer!

The death of their captain was enough to send one of the orcs fleeing, but the rest just wanted revenge! The orcish archer was clearly rattled by this, because Sir Thiebault was able to cleave its chest open with a single slash of his sword. The spearorcs closed in on Lysanthir, who had little room for manoeuvre now.

Wido closed in on one of the orcs and pushed it back, but was not able to hurt it. Onesipe moved to a position where he could shoot. Fulrad, being out of ammunition, attacked the orc nearest him with his sword but the orc's furious defence could not be overcome. Seeing the orc's back briefly unprotected, Lysanthir drove his sword into it, and one more orcish raider spilled its guts in the dust. Meanwhile, Drogo moved towards the other key point the party needed to scout.

The deaths of its comrades were enough to cause another orc to flee, but one yet remained. Wido and Fulrad formed up on Lysanthir while Sir Thiebault advanced quickly towards them to give support. Drogo was now sprinting towards the final area to be scouted.

The orc closed on Lysanthir, who immediately turned the tables and cut it down. The party now held the field and Drogo was able to quickly confirm that the final location contained no survivors.

Post-Battle Resolution

Adventure points gained: 6

Adventure milestone: Having defeated the orcs, I roll to see if their threat is reduced. I spend 4 Adventure Points on this. The roll is a 2 and the orcish threat is reduced by one.

Advancement: As a result of this battle, Onesipe now has enough experience to advance a level. He chooses the skill Pathwise as his advancement for this level. Wido's actions see him promoted to Hero status.

Loot: Searching the bodies turns up 1 Mark, a Fine Helmet and a Potion of Serpent Water. Lysanthir immediately takes the potion, claiming that only he knows how to use it. Sir Thiebault demands the fancy helmet and gives his old one to Drogo.

The party return to Utstein Marknad, where they report the results of their actions and their bar tab is written off for their efforts. A caravan is just arriving at the market as they return (2 additional rolls on rare goods next turn when trading).

Tuesday 6 December 2022

The Thrappled Lemmings Head To Market (Five Leagues from the Borderland)

 Ok, time to try to get to grips with the campaign rules. As I understand it, I first need to roll for them to get anywhere. It was not completely clear from the rules whether I can start at Utstein or not, so I am going to roll and treat this as Turn 0. It is totally in character that they would fail to get where they aimed for and this roll covers their travel to the new land.

 "I say we go this way," announced Sir Thiebault, "As an experienced adventurer, I have a nose for these things."

Sir Thiebault pointed directly inland from where they stood.

"With the greatest of respect, Sir Thiebault, I believe that we should head that way" declared Fulrad.

He pointed towards a thin trail of smoke on the horizon to their south. A narrow track led in that direction. As the group turned to look, they saw a lone traveller approaching.

"Let us ask this traveller," Lysanthir suggested.

The others looked doubtful. They were all too familiar with the carnage that attended random encounters in the wilderness. However, they were too late and Lysanthir was already marching off to meet the person approaching them.

As they got closer, details of the person's rather eccentric dress became clearer. They appeared to be clothed in a rainbow of offcuts from twenty different bolts of cloth. The fey nature of their features gave Lysanthir no pause at all.

"Greetings, traveller. We seek the nearest settlement. Our navigator dropped us off in the wrong place!"

"So I see. Worry not. Your journey will take you to the south, before it takes you further. Perhaps you would like to know more. I am Autolycus the Seer and I shall foretell the lie of the land for you if you will only gift me with a trinket or two that might entertain me."

Not hesitating, Lysanthir handed over a small quantity of silver from Onesipe's purse.

"Yes," muttered Autolycus the Seer, "I see that your presence in this land has already started great wheels in motion. You will find riches beyond your dreams and danger beyond measure, but I foretell that the danger will not be greater than the riches. This is my prophecy and I confirm it is true."

Autolycus walked off as Lysanthir stood there with his mouth open at the thought of all that wealth. His eyes were lit up like gold coins and the danger element had not registered with him at all. As the other's caught up they asked him what had happened.

"Gold," he said, "Gold. The Seer said we would find treasure beyond measure. Follow me now."

He set off down the track in the direction that Fulrad had suggested and the others followed because they had little choice unless they were all going to split up and go their separate directions. Before the day was out, they reached the small hamlet of Utstein Marknad. Currently it was not so small though. Asking around, they were informed that once a month, Utstein hosted the biggest market in the area. Possibly the only market in the area, but still the biggest.

The Thrappled Lemmings headed straight for the pub. After all, that was where you could find out what was going on in the area, and they would find out information that could guide them to this treasure.

So, that was the Confusing Trickster encounter. It has the effect of averaging Threat Levels. In this case, the only result is that the Orc Threat Level drops by 1 point to 5. At least they have made it to a settlement so the group can dig in and try to decide what to do next.

Monday 5 December 2022

The Thrappled Lemmings land in Utavoll (Five Leagues from the Borderlands)

This is the same scenario with the same terrain as in my previous report. However, this time there are more orcs and I am using my campaign warband, whom you can find described in this post on the Thrappled Lemmings. It is still a training scenario, so the warband cannot gain experience or wealth from it but it gives me a chance to try them out.

 The Thrappled Lemmings had arrived in Utavoll. Not where they had intended, but somewhere on the coast. As they marched towards where Fulrad the Guide swore the nearest settlement should be, they encountered an orc patrol. The orcs were a group of seven that were clearly up to no good. You could tell by the way they were lurking in the woods. So, the Thrappled Lemmings chose to do the same and ducked into the cover of the nearest woods. The orcs advanced towards them.

 One of their archers shot at Sir Thiebault, who had carelessly let himself get ahead of the rest of his warband. Fortunately, his expensive armour caused the arrow to ping off. An orc charged Fulrad who pushed it back.Wido and Fulrad pushed the next orc back as it charged the pair of them. The remaining orcs charged forward to form a ragged line of spears facing the adventurers. Fulrad took the opportunity to put an arrow through the offending orc's ears, cleaning out all its earwax in the process. The orc that had attacked him fell dead. Onesipe shot at another orc but missed. Sir Thiebault let out a might roar and charged one of the orc archers, who pushed him back, leaving him wounded and stunned. Drogo charged the same orc archer and cleaved it in two with his axe.

"That's how you do it, Sir Thiebault!" he sneered.

Wido charged one of the spear orcs. His own spear took it through the arm, leaving it stunned and wounded. Unfortunately, he was unable to take advantage of this as the other orcs sought to protect their spearmate.

Lysanthir moved to Sir Thiebault.

"Poor baby, poor baby, poor baby," he began to chant.

As he chanted, the air around him shimmered and Sir Thiebault's wound closed.

Seeing his companions cut down, the largest of the orcs fled the battlefield.

 Onesipe and Fulrad let loose another volley of arrows. Onesipe hit a spearorc, leaving it stunned and wounded. Fulrad bravely skewered a tree. Sir Thiebault charged one of the orc archers, using his willpower to overcome his natural desire to let others begin the carnage. The orc was cut down, its head rolling in one direction and its body in another. Not to be outdone, Drogo charged into the fray, and promptly retreated as the orc turned the tables and knocked him silly with a violent blow. Fortunately, Drogo's armour protected him from worse harm than seeing stars. Lysanthir, like Sir Thiebault, had a healthy regard for letting others lead from the front, but he overcame this with pure will power to charge into the fray himself. Then he retreated quickly as neither he nor the orc could gain the advantage in the melee. Instead of following up Lysanthir, the orc turned on Wido, who skewered it after a quick exchange of blows that saw each gaining the advantage in turn. The orc that Onesipe had wounded decided that now was the time to get its revenge. A quick flurry of blows led to Onesipe pulling back wounded. The final orc attacked Drogo with renewed fury. He was unable to withstand its blows and was pushed back by the orc, bleeding from a nasty wound. Wido saw his chance and pushed in to wound the orc in its side, but was driven back in turn by the orc's battle fury. Despite the loss of their comrades, the remaining two orcs chose to fight on.

Seeing his chance while the orc was focused on Wido and Drogo, Sir Thiebault charged and bravely cut the spearorc down from behind. Lysanthir liked this idea, but the orc pushed him back immediately. The orc decided that Fulrad was a softer target, so it attacked him and got a knife in its belly for its pains. It expired messily.

The orc force was vanquished.

"Hah," exclaimed Sir Thiebault, "My saga gains another heroic episode. I thank you, my sidekicks, for bearing witness to my great actions."

"Yes, yes," muttered Lysanthir, "and more importantly, maybe we can now get on with finding this Evil Temple and looting it, if you are quite done wading in orc guts."

Well, they won. It was less one-sided than the previous game as the orcs scored some wounds on my team. However, as noted at the start, this is still a training scenario and the only thing that can be gained is a Story Point. Story Points are used to help the narrative, be it by allowing me to shape the story being told (e.g. encountering a specific enemy in battle) or by providing a bit of luck when a favourite character is hit or ensorcelled through permitting a reroll of the dice. That means the warband will start the campaign with 4 Story Points. Now all they need to do is roll successfully to find their jumping off point for the whole campaign and get there in one piece.

And, of course, now I need to read the campaign rules in detail. Once I have done that, I shall be back to see what misadventures the Thrappled Lemmings get into. I don't suppose this campaign will be played at a rapid rate of knots, but an intermittent campaign is better than none. That reminds me that i need to get back to poor Broneslav. He has been waiting months for me to create the map of the area he is about to enter.

The Thrappled Lemmings Limp On (Five Leagues from the Borderlands

  The Thrappled Lemmings have been a staple of my gaming since I GMed a Palladium FRP campaign back in the mists of the Stone Age. It was a campaign typical of a bunch of slackers looking for some structured socialising and storytelling: long on fun, short on common sense. Since then, I have used the name for a bunch of warbands. My Rangers of Shadow Deep warband has that name. Now the group gets a new incarnation for my Five Leages from the Borderlands campaign. The key thing is that each of these groups embodies the values and spirit of all that have proudly borne this name before.

This post sets out the team at the start. They will get their own page on this blog where their progress will be tracked

Region: Utavoll

Location: Somewhere near Utstein Marknad

Gold Marks: 3

Story Points: 3

Lysanthir Dawncloud (Avatar)

Origin: Fey Mystic (Level 1)

XP: 1

  • Ag: 1
  • Spd: 4/3
  • Cbt: +0
  • Tough: 3
  • Will: 1
  • Cast: +1

Proficiencies: Foresight, Aura of Winter, Cursed

Spells: Barrier, Fog, Heal, Mobility, Shield

Skills: +1 [WITS], Wits, Scholar

Equipment: Congealed Strands (2), Bastard sword (+0/+1), Staff (-1/0, Parry), Ring of Protection (Light armour 1)

Lysanthir is the leader of the The Trappled Lemmings. He is an Elven wizard and a great one for ideas. Unfortunately, he is not so much of a doer, and it is up to the rest of the Thrappled Lemmings to finish what he starts. The shenanigans started this time because he found an old map in the archives while researching a spell for perfect poached eggs every time. The map points to a dungeon full of treasure in the newly discovered land of Utavoll. All they have to do is get there and find it.

Sir Thiebault de Faicterau

Origin: Human Noble (Level 1)

XP: 0

  • Ag: 1
  • Spd: 6/3
  • Cbt: +0
  • Tough: 3
  • Luck: 2
  • Will: 2

Proficiencies: Driven

Skills: +1 [SPEECH], Leadership, Wilderness

Equipment: Bastard sword (+0/+1), Chain armour (Partial armour 2), Shield (+1 vs Ranged, Parry), Helm

The third son of a third son, Sir Thiebault has been living on his wits since he was born. He hopes that his involvement with the Thrappled Lemmings means that he can live off Lysanthir's wits. Thiebault is the doer of the group. He makes Lysanthir's ideas happen, although he does admit in his quiet moments that he is unsure about this new plan or the veracity of Lysanthir's map.

Drogo Durjardins

Origin: Human Frontiersman (Level 1)

XP: 1

  • Ag: 1
  • Spd: 6/3
  • Cbt: +0
  • Tough: 3

Proficiencies: Driven

Skills: +1 [SPEECH], Speech, Expertise

Equipment: Two-handed axe (+0/+1), Chain armour (Partial armour 2)

Drogo was born on the margins of Thiebault's estate, son of a poor woodcutter's daughter. One day, Thiebault and Lysanthir rode through town and Drogo grabbed his axe and joined the Thrappled Lemmings. He has regretted it ever since.

Onésipe De Quincey

Origin: Human Townsman (Level 1)

XP: 2

  • Ag: 1
  • Spd: 4/3
  • Cbt: +0
  • Tough: 4

Proficiencies: Driven

Skills: +1 [SPEECH]

Equipment: Crossbow (24", +1/+0, Bulky, Limited ammunition), Light weapon (-1/+0) Light armour (1)

Onésipe was always looking for the main chance, and then Thiebault rode through town looking like a million gold pieces (It had been a lucky week, and few were like that ever again). Onésipe joined up immediately and is now heartily sick of the gruel they regularly eat.


Origin: Human Hired Guide (Follower)

XP: 0

  • Ag: 1
  • Spd: 4/3
  • Cbt: +0
  • Tough: 3

Proficiencies: Driven

Skills: +1 [SPEECH]

Equipment: Self bow (18", +0/+0, Bulky, Limited ammunition), Standard weapon (+0/+0)

Fulrad needed a job and the Thrappled Lemmings hired him. As long as they continue to pay him, he will stay with them.


Origin: Human Wily Rogue (Follower)

: 0

  • Ag: 1
  • Spd: 4/3
  • Cbt: +0
  • Tough: 3

Proficiencies: Driven

Skills: +1 [SPEECH]

Equipment: Spear (+0/+0), Light armour (1)

Wido needed to leave his job with the city guard in a hurry. 'Luckily' the Thrappled Lemmings were recruiting.

Equipment Stash

1 Light Weapon


Silvertree leaf (2)

Sunday 4 December 2022

Training Wheels (Five Leagues from the Borderlands)

 I've painted enough figures and I've read the rules. Time to take Five Leagues from the Borderlands for a ride. This is the starter scenario in the rules. Four orcs attempt to drive off four humans. I'm going to be the humans this time around. It makes no difference as the two forces are completely interchangeable for purposes of this scenario.

The Protagonists (left to right: Blixt, Perrin, Stafford, Sunderin)

The orcs are Demonworld 15mm from Ral Partha. The humans are Norman soldiers from the Two Dragons range sold by Caliver Books. The board is a printout from WargameVault which I have put in a cheap frame from Clas Ohlson. The rest of the 2D terrain also came from WargameVault (Just Paper Battles and Tiny Worlds) and I still need to edge it, but I want to play now(!). I'm making up a bunch of 2D terrain for ease of storage while I am separated from my regular terrain, although looking at the woods on the table, I really want some trees to put on those templates. I may have to head down to the model railway shop at my next opportunity.

The Hostiles (left to right: Grokk, Gryn, Grig, Grubb)

The Game

The battlefield

The orcs are lurking in ambush in the woodline, but Blixt the Scout has spotted where they are likely to be. He runs to the nearest copse and takes up position on the edge to cover his own side's advance. An arrow thunks into the tree near him as Grokk the Archer fires.Grub, Grig and Gryn advance quickly towards Blixt, attempting to get into the cover of the same copse. Perrin the Spearman races to support Blixt, as does Stafford the Swordsman. Sundelin the Bludgeon races for a different copse, intending to outflank Grokk before he can do any more damage.

The forces close with each other while the archers shoot

Blixt shoots at Gryn and hits him. The arrow pierces his armour, but Gryn is tough. although wounded and discombobulated by this, he remains on his feet. Perrin moves in to attack Grub. Grub is caught out by the speed with which Perrin moves and is run through by Perrin's spear before he can do anything. Stafford seeks to emulate or outdo Perrin's feat and moves in to attack Grig. Stafford narrowly beats past Grig's defences, showing nothing of the skill that Perrin displayed and the blow is stopped by Grig's armour. Grig is driven backwards and Perrin follows up. Perrin's next blow only just gets past Grig's defences, but it is enough. Though inelegant, Grig is laid low by it just the same. Grokk is distraught at Grig's death and fires at Stafford but misses. Gryn, despite being wounded advances on Stafford too. Unfortunately for Gryn, Stafford quickly turns the tables but Gryn regains the initiative only for Stafford to regain it. The two step back to grab a breather. Meanwhile, Sunderin races towards Grokk but cannot quite reach him.

First and second blood to the humans

Blixt fires quickly at Gryn but misses. Stafford closes on Gryn and disposes of him in a trice. Snicker snack, the orc leader falls in two parts to the ground. Grokk attempts to shoot Sunderin but misses. His hands are trembling too much to aim properly. Sunderin charges into melee but Grokk's desperate defence holds him off and the two stand a short distance apart looking at each other.. Perrin races across towards Grokk but does not reach him yet.

Third blood to the humans too!

Sunderin closes once more with Grokk who defends desperately, but in the end is wounded by Sunderin. Perrin races in to join the melee. Grokk is still stunned from his exchange with Sunderin and is easy meat for Perrin, who immediately skewers him. The soldiers have completed their patrol successfully.

The humans hold the field


Well, that went well for the humans. I am fairly sure I got most of the rules right, so that is a bonus, but I had better read them again just to be sure.

The main issue I had was caused by forgetting that a Stunned result is removed at the end of the phase in which it happened so I spent ages looking for what to do when a hostile was stunned and it was their turn. The answer was that he was not stunned, because he got stunned in the previous phase of the turn. That's what happens when you overthink things and bring baggage from other games to the table.

There were also issues with remembering to account for the status of figures, but that will come with practice. It may also help to make some stunned and wounded markers for the game.

The game itself took about 30-45 minutes to play. This included a lot of looking up of rules to check I was playing it right. That is pretty good for my purposes. I could get several campaign turns played in an evening if I so chose, or I can just have a quickie (as it were!) and play a single game when the opportunity presents. Works for me.

Now I just need to read the rules again and roll up a warband of my own. Then I shall play this scenario over again to let the rules embed properly before cracking on with a campaign.