Saturday 23 September 2023

Turn 24: The Thrappled Lemmings and the Temperance League (Five Leagues from the Borderlands)

 "Whaddya mean they've banned gambling," erupted Wido as he hastily put away his loaded dice.

"Just what I said," grunted Fulrad, "Signs up all over the place that morals are becoming lax, blah blah blah. You know. Usual moral panic stuff. I notice they ain't banning beer though. Wonder why that could be."

Fulrad ostentatiously quaffed his Elsfjord Goblin's Head Pale Ale and ordered another of the local brews to chase it down with. He had just finished training with Lysanthir and had worked up quite a thirst.

Wido grumbled, "I'm gonna see Lysanthir. He'll know what to do about this."

Lysanthir was relaxing after training with a half of Elsfjord Brown Ale, a notably strong brew. He listened with concern to Wido's tale and reassured the wily rogue that he would check out what was going on. If there was anything that could be done about it, Lysanthir would find out and the Lemmings would make it happen or destroy the monastery in the process.

Taking the party's purse, Lysanthir headed for the market to sell some of the gear they had recovered in the last raid on the Synod. The fancy mead horn sold quickly, as he had expected. The talk with the merchant turned to the new ban on gambling, and Lysanthir walked away from her absorbed in the new knowledge he had gained. A further tour of the market place and a discussion with a merchant selling a particularly fine shield that he bought for Sir Thiebault confirmed his thoughts.

"Lads, there's something dodgy going on here and I think the Synod is up to its neck in the gambling ban. Who know's what comes next. First gambling, then beer, I do not doubt. Now, I took a tour around the market and all things point to one place on the outskirts of Elsfjord Kloster. I bet that is where they are holed up. We need to go scout the area and roust them out if they are still there."

The Lemmings grabbed their gear at the double. The sooner they had chased off the bad guys, the sooner they could be back in the monastery supping a pint or three of Elsfjord Aged Wyrding Beer.

As they approached the area that Lysanthir had identified, eldritch fog rolled in to chill their bones. This confirmed their suspicions that the Synod was behind things. There were no cultists in sight though.

No cults in sight! The pigs mark the objectives that the Lemmings have to reach by the end of turn 6

"Spread out, Lads. We need to scout through to those buildings at the back. And be careful, those cultists are tricksy beggars," ordered Sir Thiebault.

Wido, Fulrad and Onesipe took the left flank and advanced up the hill. The others made a beeline for the pigs they could see in the centre of the village. In Utavoll, men are real men, and pigs are real money.

So that is where they were hiding!

As they advanced, cultist slingers emerged from the woods and started pelting the Lemmings with stones, while cultists emerged from two of the houses, accompanied by a grim knight.

The battle starts showing the shape it will take

Wido charged towards the slingers while Onesipe and Fulrad moved into position to shoot at them. Lysanthir raced forward and very quickly had the first pig in a sack. Drogo and Sir Thiebault engaged the first group of cultists. Two cultists fell in the first rush and Wido skewered one of the slingers. The deaths of their comrades dismayed several of the cultists, who ran. Pretty soon, only the grim knight remained. Sir Thiebault raced to the top of the hill.

"Ha! Call yourself a knight, you lily-livered son of a goat's excreta!" He taunted.

The knight came on and came to blows with him just as Lysanthir got the second goat into a sack. Despite having the advantage of height, Sir Thiebault was very quickly on a back foot. The knight's blows hammered home but bounced off Sir Thiebault's armour and new shield. Suddenly, Sir Thiebault saw an opening and counterattacked. A broad sweep of his sword took the knight below the chin guard and his head broke free of his body. Breathing heavily, Sir Thiebault looked at the dead knight. He did not recognise the shield device, but he was sure that this knight must be local, and must have seen an advantage in allying with the Synod. Well, the Lemmings had put paid to that plot now!

All your pigs are belong to us

Returning to the monastery, Sir Thiebault learned that the knight he had slain was none other than the Dread Ulric von Laksenfoss and that there was a reward for his capture or death. This pleased all the Lemmings greatly. They had also acquired the knight's shield and sword which were both of superior quality, so it was a successful outing, all in all.

Later that night as they were deep into their cups, a trader came into the tavern and announced that the plague had taken hold in Fikaby. Clearly the Lemmings would have to stay away from Fikaby for a while, but their plans lay elsewhere anyway.

I can't believe that the Lemmings came through that without injuries! Were it not for low armour rolls, Sir Thiebault would certainly have been badly hurt if not taken out completely. And now the Synod is reduced to Threat 2. The Lemmings' campaign against the cultists is really showing results now.

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