Monday 18 March 2024

Turn 53: The Thrappled Lemmings Help the Beer Flow (Five Leagues from the Borderlands)

 Wido woke one morning with a sore shoulder. By the end of breakfast, everyone else was sick of his complaining, but still it went on. To get away from the moaning, Drogo and Fulrad headed off to train until the group was ready for today's patrol. Sigrid the Beggar was in Fikaby at this point and she told Lysanthir something useful about the surrounding area. Her travels gave her access to a lot of information, and it was quite likely, Lysanthir surmised, that she was more than just a poor beggar. Nevertheless, he gave her a few gold pieces to tide her over and keep her on side.

With the business of the day sorted, the Thrappled Lemmings headed out on patrol once more.

"The beer must flow," was Lysanthir's explanation.

"The beer must flow," chorused the others.

Their patrol began well, and they encountered Arngrim the Priest who told them that the roads seemed much safer already, but that he had seen some dodgy people on his journey. He directed the Thrappled Lemmings to the place where he had seen them. The party headed off in that direction. It was heartening that Arngrim had not mentioned seeing any Orcs at all, so these must just be the usual run of the mill robbers.

As they patrolled up the road, they heard cries from up ahead.

"Stand and deliver! Your money or your life!"

"Ah, no, please, I don't have anything of value. I am just a poor merchant!"

"Ha! A 'poor' merchant? Yes, I have heard that one before. And, of course, you always pay your taxes on time and in full! Hah! Right! Hand it over! All of it! We are tax collectors, not robbers, and we are here to ensure that Jarl Bodvarr receives his rightful share, so that he can continue to protect people like you from robbers and brigands and bandits."

The Thrappled Lemmings needed to hear no more. They raced forward, splitting up to cover both sides of the road.

"Ware Lemmings!" cried a look-out, who had seen them approaching at the last minute.

The bandit leader ordered his men into position. The merchant, who did not look that poor after all, took the opportunity to race off to safety in the woods.

"I really don't need this," moaned Wido, "My shoulder hurts."

Onesipe started the fight by firing at the armoured bandit who had given the warning.

"Tis but a flesh wound," cried the bandit.

One of the bandit crossbowmen fired at Onesipe and wounded him. Onesipe returned fire and wounded the bandit, who fired back again and laid Onesipe out.

The bandit leader and his sidekick attacked Fulrad and Wido, but were pushed back and Wido wounded the sidekick before killing him. The wounded crossbowman took to his heels at this point. He had done his bit and someone needed to survive to tell Jarl Bodvarr what had happened to his taxes.

Wido and Fulrad attacked the bandit leader and it was not long before the leader had fallen. Drogo and Sir Thiebault did the same on their side of the battlefield and slew a bandit. As the bandits fell one by one, it became too much, and the last two bandits fled for home, both wounded. The Thrappled Lemmings held the field once more and were now certain that the beer would flow, as it must. The crossbow bolt that had felled Onesipe had merely knocked him out, and he was soon up and complaining about his headache just as much, and just as irritatingly, as Wido was complaining about his bad shoulder.

The merchant had fled leaving a bag of elegant triptyches that the Thrappled Lemmings would sell well and another sack of fine cheeses and bottles of wine, so the Lemmings could count the day a proper victory. They returned to Fikaby for a celebratory ale.

"Well, that's the roads open again. What say we head back to the Temple and plunder it for all it's worth?" Lysanthir asked the group. A hefty debate ensued as they considered their options.

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