Sunday 26 February 2023

Turn 13: The Thrappled Lemmings Use Their Loaf (Five Leagues from the Borderlands)

Local Events

Wido gets in a fight in Utstein Marknad. Although Sigrid speaks up for him, her status is too low and the family of the man whose arm Wido broke is unwilling to leave the party alone until they have been paid 2 Marks.

Hard Times

The Thrappled Lemmings dine on their own rations, rather than spending money.

Campaign Activities

Wido and Fulrad train, and gain 1 XP each.


The party sells one load of tapestries for 6 Marks but Utstein is only a small market so they are not able to offload everything. They realise they need to go to a larger settlement like Haitabu to offload all the rest.


Lysanthir has a long talk with Sigrid, who tells him of a Quest. There is a place in the wilderness that she has heard of (Hex 1914) where a powerful artifact is rumoured to be. She is unclear on the details, but swears blind that the Thrappled Lemmings will like what they find.


The party travels towards Haitabu with a caravan of supplies. Unfortunately, they are waylaid by foes on the way. A gang of Roving Fiends led by a sergeant ambushes them. The Fiends move quickly and mostly silently through the surrounding brush and woods, but Fulrad spots them quite quickly despite this.

The party forms up quickly, side by side to support each other. As the first wolfman nears him, he lets fly a crossbow bolt that punches it backwards, never to move again. The wolfmen close on the party undeterred and Onesipe nails another one. Meanwhile, Fulrad fires off all his arrows in a panic and draws his sword.

The wolfmen close on the party, quickly getting into tooth and claw range. Drogo yells as he is wounded. Onesipe draws his sword and kills another wolfman, before dropping that raising his crossbow and slaying a fourth. Undeterred, the remainder fight on. Drogo is knocked out without even touching any of the wolfmen. Fulrad avenges this insult by killing a wolfman.

The melee flows back and forth. The warriors and the wolfmen are quite evenly matched and they each take it in turn to have the advantage but none can land a telling blow for a long time. Then, suddenly, Onesipe slips and falls. The wolfman claws him across the chest and Onesipe lies still. Wido is wounded, but manages to wound the leader of the wolfmen.

Sir Thiebault finally lands a blow and a wolfman falls at his feet. Another attacks him. Distracted, he trips over the one that he slew and the wolfman's claws pass through the space where his head was a moment ago. That blow would surely have taken his head off (1 Story Point used). Getting back to his feet, he plunges his sword into the wolfman's chest, and the remaining two flee. The Thrappled Lemmings hold the field.

Checking Onesipe and Drogo, they find that Onesipe had merely banged his head and was ok, but Drogo was severely wounded (out for 5 turns)

While Lysanthir is helping the wounded, Fulrad loots the corpses. he finds a ring with a lock of hair in it. No doubt someone is missing this item and they will be grateful for its return. He also finds a salvageable chain shirt (partial armour) and a helmet.

Helping the wounded Drogo along, the party continues on to Haitabu, where the locals are delighted to see them and promise to pay their bar tab and feed them for a short while, now that they have food once more. The Thrappled Lemmings can skip their next upkeep costs and earn 2 Adventure Points. Fulrad also finds the ring's owner. Ketil, son of Ketil, is grateful for the return of his wife's ring.

News Travels

As people travel more and settle further inland, more sites of interest are being found. Travellers have spotted something unusual in the forests to the north.

Sunday 12 February 2023

Turns 11-12: The Thrappled Lemmings Lend a Hand (Five Leagues from the Borderlands)

Turn 11

Local Events

Unfortunately for Sir Thiebault, something has scared the game off. There will be no hunting this turn.

Hard Times

The Thrappled Lemmings eat the rations that Sir Thiebault hunted last turn. They all agree that the spices they found greatly improve the quality of the food.

Campaign Activities

With nothing to hunt, Sir Thiebault heads out on a foraging expedition. He finds 2 doses of Springwind Berries.

Onesipe practises his crossbowmanship and gains 1 XP, going up a level in the process and improving his Combat Skill to +2.


As the party is in camp, they cannot trade.


Lysanthir spends his time in camp reading his books to see if he can identify the location of the temple full of gold and treasure that has drawn him here. His research is successful after a fashion (5 Adventure Points spent) and he identifies the location of the Synod hideout. It lies far to the southwest at the coast, overlooking the cold blue sea (Hex 0214).


The party travels to Fikaby to find Sigrid and help her. On the way, they encounter a skald called Eyvind the Copyist who listens to the tale of their adventures as they travel and then composes an improved version of the story. They learn much from this reworking of their adventures and gain 1 Story Point. When they get to Fikaby, they seek out Sigrid and announce their desire to help.

News Travels

Travellers in Fikaby tell tales of strange goings on near the Svartskog. A new unexplored location is added to the map at 0602.

Turn 12

Local Events

Once more, a tavern owner uses the Thrappled Lemmings for their own publicity. The owner of the Plough and Pickle feeds and waters the Lemmings in a bid to attract trade to his establishment.

Hard Times

No upkeep costs because the owner of the Plough and Pickle pays them for the Lemmings.

Campaign Activities

Fulrad and Wido both practise their combat skills and gain 1 XP each.


The party sells what it can of its loot but finds the market saturated very quickly in Fikaby and gains 9 Marks. The Lemmings will have to sell the rest another time or go to a town to sell it.


No research is done. There are free drinks to be quaffed instead!


The party travels to Utstein with Sigrid the Beggar. The journey is uneventful and they gratefully take Sigrid's gold. She, in turn, is grateful that the party's presence discouraged those who seek her.

News Travels

In Utstein, merchants relate the tale of Haitabu and how supply caravans have failed to deliver recently. If the Lemmings take supplies there within two turns, they can skip their next upkeep costs and earn 2 Adventure Points.

Saturday 11 February 2023

Turn 10: The Thrappled Lemmings and the Unusually Sized Rodents (Five Leagues from the Borderland)

 Local Events

Lysanthir: "So, let's get our story straight. We want this fight to be heroic when the skalds sing our song."

The rest of the group chunter and mutter about preferring beer to songs, but Lysanthir will here nothing of it. He is going to be a hero, whether the rest of the Lemmings want him to or not.

Musing on their tale nets the Lemmings 1 Story Point.

Hard Times

The Thrappled Lemmings eat up 1 Mark's worth of supplies round the camp fire. They did not feel like eating more because Lysanthir kept muttering about skalds and eternal glory, and the only way to shut him up was for them to go to sleep. The food and a good night's sleep are enough for Lysanthir's wounds to heal and he is back in action very quickly.

Campaign Activities

Sir Thiebault heads out on a hunting expedition. It was an easy way to get away from Lysanthir and get some peace and quiet for a while. His hunt is successful and he returns with 2 Rations.

Wido takes the opportunity to train and gains 1 XP, going up a level in the process.


As the party is in camp, they cannot trade.


Lysanthir spends his time in camp recovering from his injury and reading his books to see if he can identify the location of the temple full of gold and treasure that has drawn him here. His research is successful (6 Adventure Points spent) and he identifies the location of the Orcs' hideout. It lies far to the north in the mountains (Hex 2100).


Despite the allure of Jarl Boggvir's quest, the Thrappled Lemmings choose to remain in the area and explore the Mayor's Hat Delve. They outfit themselves and head down the stairs into the crypts under the keep.

As they descend into the dark, they light torches and prepare for whatever might face them. Hopefully, it would be gold and treasure and jewels, but they know in their hearts that there will be denizens. As there are two stairs down into the crypts, the party splits up. Lysanthir leads Drogo and Fulrad down one stair while Sir Thiebault leads Wido and Onesipe down the other.

Mayor's Hat Dungeon, Level 2 (Dungeon tiles by Heroic Maps. Printed onto label paper and stuck to matte board for rigidity. I'll get around to edgeing them all one day ... honest)

Onesipe scouts ahead. He pauses and listens. It is quiet. These catacombs have lain still and quiet for a long time, and his quiet tread is all that disturbs the silence. He pauses as the others follow a short distance behind him. Listening hard, he hears scratching, scuttling noises.

Onesipe scouts ahead

"Rodents," he says quietly back to those following him, "large ones by the sound of it. They could be of unusual size."

Sir Thiebault hisses back, "Don't be stupid. They don't exist."

Onesipe indicates the spoor of  larger than average rat and raises his eyebrows sceptically at Sir Thiebault, who fumes at this physical evidence of a possible Unusually Sized Rodent.

"Still," continues Onesipe, "At least it looks like the place is undisturbed. That should mean more treasure..."

Rodents, sir, fahsands of 'em!

He licks his lips in anticipation of finding large quantities of beer tokens that others have not yet plundered. Then his brow furrows as he thinks through the various reasons why others might not have sought these riches. The skeletons they had fought upstairs suggest necromantic issues in these crypts. Ah well, he would snipe from behind the others with his crossbow if they encountered trouble. That would also give him a better chance of running away while the others were distracting whatever overly large rodents might be found down here.

As the party explores further into the crypts, Drogo is the first to find something. Stashed away in a sarcophagus is a richly begemmed set of jewellery worth 7 Marks.

"Some say they do not exist."

Onesipe, on the other hand, is the first to spot rats the size of small ponies. The rats make for him and he takes cover behind a sarcophagus, taking aim with his crossbow. His first bolt wounds the larger of the two, a Prince Rat (Sergeant in Five Leagues). Sir Thiebault and Wido working together still get beaten back by the two rats, but Onesipe's second bolt kills the Prince Rat and the two warriors are then able to finish off its companion.

Onesipe looks quizzically at Sir Thiebault, "Don't exist, eh?"

He then plants a crossbow bolt in the forehead of the other rat and it drops dead too.

Drogo's overenthusiastic exploration results in him have an unfortunate encounter with three ROUSs

On the other side of the crypt, Drogo is busily taking extreme measures to avoid getting eaten (uses 1 Story Point to avoid getting put out of the fight), until Lysanthir steps in and slays two rats in succession as he plants his staff firmly on their heads, spilling their brains out. This inspires Drogo to kill the last rat in that group.

Drogo then races forward to check the next crypt for treasure, but is ambushed by another rat, which Fulrad dispatches quickly with an arrow.

Meanwhile, Sir Thiebault was loading himself down with tapestries worth 4 Marks, and Lysanthir gets ambushed by a rat while looking for treasure. Drogo slays the rat without even breaking a sweat, after Lysanthir spends his time parrying every attack the rat throws at him (5 successful parries in row! That's how bad my dice rolling is!!) until Drogo can join the fray.

Last of the rats

As the party advances further into the crypt, the chittering gets less, until suddenly there is neither scuttling nor chittering going on, and the only squeak is one of relief from Onesipe who had used up all his crossbow bolts early in the exploration.

The Lemmings use this opportunity to finish searching the crypt where they find a fine quality longbow and several jars of spices (3 Marks). They find stairs leading further down to what is obviously going to be another source of treasure. Their eyes light up.

Drogo goes up a level and gains a point of Will. Fulrad has a flash of insight and is now a level 1 hero.

News Travels

As they settle in to their camp, the Thrappled Lemmings are approached by a dishevelled looking man. He tells them a tale of a woman in Fikaby who needs protection to get from there to Utstein Marknad. It turns out that she is the Thrappled Lemmings' friend, Sigrid the Beggar. The job is worth 2 Marks (and 1 Story Point because she is a Friend). The party agrees that they should do this, because she is their friend, and they need to head for a settlement anyway to sell their loot before they brave the next level of this crypt.

Sunday 5 February 2023

The Whispers from Beyond: The Synod of Reason in Five Leagues from the Borderlands

The Synod of Reason is a cult that roams Utavoll seeking to enforce pure reason on the inhabitants there. Cultists are recognisable by the prominently carried Little Blue Book of Reason that each carries. Upon joining the Synod, each member goes into seclusion to make a copy of the Blue Book of Reason. Because of this, these books are as different in appearance as the cultists are. The only point of congruence is that many cultists are driven mad by the process of copying the text. Given the nature of the world, it is often argued that this is the only logical and rational response to the world generally and to the chthonic horror of a life of pure reason that the book conveys specifically.

Although often viewed from the outside as a monolithic entity, the truth is that the Synod is a hotbed of schism and argument as the militant, rationalist philosophers of the Synod's upper echelons spend days arguing over the minutiae of the Blue Book of Reason as revealed to the cult's founder Immanent Kannulae. This has resulted in running battles between different sects within the Synod. The two main power groups within the Synod's schismatrix are those who believe in the Cold Blue Light of Reason and those who believe in the Clear Blue Light of Reason. There is no reconciling their positions and those who have tried have been branded heretics and executed, as is only reasonable and logical when dealing with people who cannot think properly. Despite their clear doctrinal differences in interpreting the Blue Light of Reason as either Cold or Clear, to the average outsider, there is no obvious difference.

In Utavoll, the Synod represents a threat to order as schismatics, heretics, and other odious types attempt to enforce their own brand of enlightenment and rationalist philosophy on the populace. Wandering bands of cultists can be found all over, and, worryingly, seem to be channeling nameless horrors from other dimensions or even summoning them directly.

Unarmoured Cultists

The Sinners from RPE's Demonworld range are the poorest and most addled of cultists. They represent any unarmoured cultist foes. They are poor and broken specimens whose brains have been twisted by the Little Blue Book of Reason. They are little more than sword fodder and go by many names: The Taken, Broken Fanatics, The Outcast, Whisperers and more.

Armoured Cultists

The Demonworld Death Guard figures are the better class of cultist. They represent any cultists with armour. Their brains may be addled like their poorer brethren, but they have retained enough of themselves to survive in the world and to take care of themselves properly. Some can even pass for normal(-ish) when mixing in society more generally, although they will always wear something blue, even when not in their robes.

2 Slingers, a Crossbowman and an Archer (Two Dragons)

Cultists with Hand Crossbows (RPE)

These guys provide missile support for the cultists and may well appear in other army lists to save me a lot of extra painting. The guys with hand crossbows will be cultists with throwing knives and will appear as assassins or master thieves in other lists.

Skeleton Warriors (RPE)

Zombies (Alternative Armies HOT range and RPE)

Undead Heroes and Leaders (RPE)

There are two types of undead in my collection: zombies and skeletons. I plan to use them fairly interchangeably as the different types of undead in the Whispers army list and in other places where I need humanoid undead. The key element in choosing will be my whim and the speed they are meant to move at. The hero/leader figures will also feature as Death Knights.

Mutated Cultists or Werewolves (RPE)

Some cultists are so strongly affected by copying the Little Blue Book that it channels nameless horrors into their bodies and mutates them. The Corrupt, as they are known, are terrifying opponents but almost mindless in their ferocity. They have little relationship to anything we would call reality and know only the hunger of the chthonic horrors that whisper directly into their minds from beyond the veil. These guys will also appear as werewolves in the campaign.

The Daughters of Xeribulos (RPE)

The Daughters of Xeribulos are minor demons from a nameless, inexpressible dimension known only to demonologists by its reference code: Di 5c0. Despite their almost human appearance, the Daughters will shake your body down to the ground if you are not careful and will burn you up in a Di 5c0 inferno before you know it. Staying alive when they are around is hard and for many adventurers, an encounter with the Daughters is their last dance. The Daughter's live for this. It's how they get their freak on and that's the way they like it. I am using these figures as Fog Born, and other demonic types, such as the Crystal Wards in the Lurking Foes list.

Cultist Heroes and Leaders (RPE)

In any circumstance where I need distinct leader figures, these guys will appear. They can also appear as specific monster types from other lists where a warrior type figure is needed and they fit the story.

Magic Using Foes (RPE)

These are not specifically cultists, but they look the part for summoners of nameless horrors from beyond the veils of reality, so they will do duty both as generic wizardly foes and as cultist magic-users. I'm already planning how I can use them in Frostgrave and which schools each most suits.