Sunday 18 February 2024

Turn 38: The Thrappled Lemmings and the Haunted Ruins (Five Leagues from the Borderlands)

 It had been a terrible week. The rain had got everywhere and got into everything.

"So much for camping," complained Onesipe. "What kind of idiot would think it was good fun to sleep under the stars? More like under the clouds! And look at my crossbow. It's knackered. I'm going to have to replace the string and the trigger mechanism! Sod camping. I hate it."

He stomped off to get a repair kit from Jarnhauss the Mule's pack saddle, chewing on a soggy piece of dried fish from their rations. The others were in better mood, if only because they were not total townies like Onesipe and had experienced worse in their own lives. Sir Thiebault was off hunting at this point or Onesipe might have caught the sharp edge of his tongue, and Fulrad was scouting the area.

"Ha!" exclaimed Sir Thiebault as he returned to camp, "Look at this."

"This" was a small deer that would feed the Lemmings for a while. About the same time, Fulrad returned with no new news and just a comment that there was a spooky tree to their north in the hills, that might be worth checking out. The group agreed that marching off to check this new place out was better than sitting around while Onesipe griped and moaned, so they packed their things together and set off.

Onesipe griped even more as he discovered that the route they were following led through marshes that soaked his feet and boots even more. They reached the location that had seemed interesting to Fulrad quite quickly though. There was a small ruin there with an uncanny air about it, and the vegetation seemed warped by whatever powers had been unleashed here. The vegetation was warped and grew close together. It seemed to be trying to strangle the Lemmings even as they moved in to check the place out. This looked like it had once been a rich settlement, but now it was ruined and overgrown and almost certainly haunted. The Thrappled Lemmings moved through the bone-chilling fog that had arisen from the ground as they approached and advanced into the ruins.

There were several obvious routes into the ruins, so the Lemmings chose to split into pairs and advance on several fronts. The plan was to meet in the middle of the settlement having dealt with whatever they found on the way. As Drogo and Onesipe crept up the road, past uncanny crystalline formations that had sprouted in the middle of it, a group of shambling undead appeared out of the mist. Moaning gently, the maddened revenants altered direction towards the pair.

Fulrad advanced into a low ruined building and leapt back at twice the speed as the floor beneath his feet gave way and tumbled into an abyss below. The ruin was clearly unsafe.

As Lysanthir and Wido moved carefully forward, they spotted more of the undead horrors. Another group of revenants appeared to Onesipe's right. He and Drogo were going to have a hard time of it shortly and the others were too far away to help. Drogo dashed up a nearby hill to distract the revenants and took up a position between two giant toadstools. As the revenants advanced on him, he slew one and drove the other back.

Meanwhile, in a hard fight, Wido had slain too more and Lysanthir found that the area near them was full of fallen logs that were partially hidden beneath rubble and moss. They made the ground around them treacherous.

Onesipe raced into the woods. Three revenants were chasing him. Drogo dealt with the one that was focused on him and raced off to aid Onesipe. Hearing Onesipe's cries, Sir Thiebault also rushed off to help him, leaving Fulrad to search a stash, where he found some Springwind Berries. Suddenly, another revenant emerged from the mists behind him, as the others converged on Onesipe.

The fight was hard, but eventually, the revenants were defeated, although Wido was hurt in the process.

 Fortunately, it was an easy wound to clean and he was otherwise unaffected. The Lemmings started their search in earnest and it was then that their problems began as they disturbed numerous revenants. The haul of loot was nice but in the process Sir Thiebault and Drogo were both put out of the fight by the revenants. As the fog cleared, the Lemmings found a camp site at a safe distance from the haunted ruins. Both warriors soon came too in the camp and were little the worse for their encounter with the revenants but some of their equipment had taken a beating and would need repairing.

That was a good haul of treasure, but it cost me a Story Point to keep Drogo alive. Those guarded stashes are nice but can be problematic as they generate more enemies. The Maddened Revenants are tough too. Generally speaking, they require 2 hits to kill them. Your chances of killing them with one blow are low, and even lower if you roll as many 1s as I do for the armour checks and find your blows bouncing off them! I guess the Lemmings will have to get back to defeating the Hooded Men next, but they might need a trip into town to sell their loot, because the poor mule is starting to complain.

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