Saturday 24 February 2024

Turn 40: The Thrappled Lemmings Hunt Some Rebel Scum (Five Leagues from the Borderlands)

 After the journey back to Fikaby, the Thrappled Lemmings organised themselves for their next foray against the Hooded Men. They took time to drink with the older men of Fikaby and learned some useful information from one of the hamlet's Elders (+1 Adventure Point).

Sir Thiebault and Drogo spent their time sparring (+1 XP each) while Lysanthir headed to the market to sell what he could. He successfully sold all their spare gear for 7 Marks and was most gratified to find that the Lemming's investment in Fikaby was reaping rewards as more people were moving in and that meant more and better merchants in future (-6 Adventure Points). The place was large enough to be called a village now.

Lysanthir called the group together after they had all run their errands to discuss their next move.

"Right, lads, there's a monster lair north of here that we could raid and be back in time for dinner, or we can deal with these Hooded Men once and for all. What do you think?"

The others quickly divided into two camps. Sir Thiebault, Drogo and Fulrad were all for kicking the bandits while they were, while Onesipe and Wido preferred the chance for proper loot in the monster's lair.

Lysanthir expressed a preference for attacking the monster but deferred to Sir Thiebault's preference given that it was an even split between the group.

"Ok, Hooded Men it is," he announced after all had stated their case, "We'll come back for that monster another time. I'm sure it will still be there, and it might have gathered even more loot by then. The local elders say that there is bandit activity near here, so we can sort them out and be back in time for last orders. Apparently, they are regrouping and seem to be preparing an assault or something. Grab your gear and let's go!"

The village elder had told the Lemmings that she had heard that the bandits were massing in the wooded hills to the north, near the ruins of an old farm. Her intelligence proved accurate and the Thrappled Lemmings were soon moving stealthily from cover to cover as they tried to sneak up on the grim-faced Hooded Men they could see just ahead.

"By Odin's hairy bollocks," muttered Drogo, "Would you look at the size of that guy!"

The others concurred with his assessment. Although there were not many bandits in this group, one of them was huge with arms like tree trunks. He looked like the type who would not be inclined to see reason at all and for whom every problem could be solved by breaking things. The party had got as far as it could reasonably sneak, so Sir Thiebault gave the order: "CHARGE!"

The Lemmings' movements in blue, bandits in red

The Lemmings raced forward, using cover to keep out of sight of the enemy archers. The enemy did the same and the Unreasoning Brute was soon flailing at Drogo with his axe and sword. It was a hard fight but Drogo held the beast off, then Sir Thiebault stepped in and lopped the guy's head off with a single blow.

"That's how you do it, Drogo!"

Onesipe and Fulrad opened fire on approaching bandits as the others got stuck in. Soon three more bandits lay dead on the floor and the remaining archer had fled. A single bandit was left, who did not seem to realise that his comrades were no longer beside him and that the Thrappled Lemmings were all converging on him. Fulrad beat off his desperate attack and then Wido ran up behind the bandit and ran him through. Peace fell over the old farm, disturbed only by the sound of the Thrappled Lemmings ransacking the bandits' possessions.

"Hey, men," shouted Sir Thiebault, "Look at this."

He had been ransacking some barrels and found documents and plans in the bottom of them.

"This looks like directions to a secret lair for these Hooded Men. I bet that is where they stash all their loot."

The lair looked to be in the foothills at the end of the River Hait. One of the Hooded Men's biggest camps had been located along that river and this seemed not to be a coincidence.

This attack had further weakened the Hooded Men (-6 Adventure Points) and the end was in sight for that group. They were being scattered and would soon be too scattered to be a threat. Unfortunately for the Lemmings, pickings were meagre here. A small icon and the remains of someone the bandits had slain were all they found. The victim had on them a letter addressed to Fleur the Milliner in Fikaby and a wedding ring. The Lemmings took these and quickly found Fleur on their return to the village. She was distraught at the death of her husband (+1 Story Point).

"Oh, thank you for bringing these to me," she cried, "I was so worried about him. Now, at least, I know.  It is better than never knowing, even if it is the news I feared. I am forever in your debt and will give you discount should you ever need to purchase impressive hats from me."

As they settled in to drink their evening meal, the Lemmings chatted with merchants in the tavern.

"So, I was in Haitabu last week and it was rumoured that the Hooded Men were planning to attack you directly and were building up their strength to do so," Honest Odd the Tinker told them, "but it seems from what I heard most recently that you managed to scupper their plans by killing someone vital to them. Nicely done, chaps. Let me buy your a drink." (-1 Vital Information to cancel enemy plans roll)

Well, that went better than expected. The Unreasoning Brute is nasty, and I was expecting casualties, but he was not nasty enough to stand against sixes on armour penetration and toughness rolls. The Lemmings did not earn much treasure, but I spent 6 Adventure Points for a guaranteed upgrade from Hamlet to Village, and 6 more to guarantee reducing the Hooded Men. One more successful attack on them and they are history. I also finally got a use for some of the Vital Information I have gathered, because the final random event in the village was an enemy plans roll that I could negate with it. The effect would not have been bad, because it was just 1 extra bad guy in the next fight agains the Hooded Men, but it makes for a better story to see these battles have additional effects.

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