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  • giorgis 10:30 pm on June 16, 2022 Permalink | Reply
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    In the Aristrax Marches – Ep08 

    Previously in the Aristrax Marches, the Ravens of Gadun managed to get hold of the Parchments of Ugmal, and can finish their quest; however with two wounded warband members, completion might have to be postponed for a short while.

    Turn 12

    Once more camping outside of a settlement, at the Local Events we rolled that it’s Hard going out there, but thankfully we have plenty of Rations so we’ll just eat up one of them an avoid paying Upkeep altogether. Lady Liana of Trenne and Myrick scratch off one Recovery Turn from their wounds, and I decide once more to Forage for herbs and go on a Hunting Expedition. Bolga found one dose of Silvertree Leaf and Boots found some Suspicious Tracks. For the Adventuring Stage I chose to Battle the Enemy Threats and chose the Whispers from Beyond as my target, since they’re also the threat in my Quest Finale.


    The Ravens are camped in the forest. Temir tending to the wounds of Liana and Myrick. Caldas and Bolga delivering the necessary supplies as the land provides. Thankfully they had enough rations to bide their time, because at times it was too dangerous to go hunting alone, and they had to stick together. Unseen enemies prowl the woods, and Caldas found tracks as if made by human skeletons.
    Omac decides they’ve had enough. They will put an end to Ugmal, but beforehand they have to deal with the threat of the living dead. They shelter their wounded companions, grab their backpack and set off to hunt the dead.

    I’ve rolled that it’s 5 of the Taken with one Lieutenant. They’re in the same map area as we are, and they’ve set an ambush and if they win they will entrench themselves further. Our objective is to Investigate the Area. Okay this feels like a battle I can win with only 4 of my heroes.

    Following the tracks, Omac, Caldas, Bolga and Temir reach a cabin under a hill with a tower overlooking the surrounding area. Caldas whispers to Omac that they should investigate this.
    At the far distance they see six husks of men, driven by a malevolent force, approaching directly at them, their leader grunting louder than the rest. The Raven’s approach has been made. Any chance of surprise has been lost. They unseathe their swords and close in.

    The Combat

    ROUND 1

    Caldas, the fleet footed, reaches the cabin within moments, and searching, doesn’t find anything of interest. Temir moves a bit closer and lets off and arrow at the husk approaching from the woods, but he misses.
    The two sides close in on one another.
    “What are these things?” Temir shouts.
    “The Taken! They’ve been lured into dark pacts and rituals. Nothing remains from their old selves but their physical manifestation!” Omac responds.

    ROUND 1
    ROUND 2

    The Taken all move one after the other towards the Ravens. Bolga is the first to fend off their attacks, while another one attacks Omac. He parries with his staff, and wounds his enemy, breaking some bones. Two more husks attack Caldas, who parries with his rapier and kills the first, and wounds the second.
    Temir reaches for his quiver but he fumbles and all his arrows drop to the ground. Bolga, Caldas and Omac go to the offense, each of them scoring a kill. Only two husks remain, but they’re fearless, unmoved by their casualties.

    ROUND 2
    ROUND 3

    Caldas slashes with his rapier at another of the Taken, and kills him, as Bolga faces of their leader.
    The husk growls loudly, but Bolga is not bothered. His cleaver comes down in a horizontal motion, and the enemy’s head soon lies by their side. The body joins it in a short moment with a loud thud.

    ROUND 3

    On the resolution stage we earned 3 Adventure Points for defeating a threat, plus 1 for eliminating their lieutenant. I decide to attempt an Adventure Milestone and spend 6 Adventure Points to reduce the Whispers from Beyond Threat by 1.

    We had no injuries, so we check for Advancement. Omac and Bolga each reach Level 3. Omac gains the Spell Bleed, while Bolga gains a Speed increase.

    We only had one Loot roll for achieving the objective. Rolling on the tables, we received yet another Heart Seeker. Seems there’s a sister blade to the first one. I’ll give this to Temir.

    Since we hold the field we gain a roll on the Unusual Finds and it’s 1 Gold Mark worth of coins.

    Finally for News Travels we’ve rolled that the Rangers have been scouting the area and get to add 2 Adventure Points.

    Victorious, the Ravens of Gadun scout the battlefield. In the tower, under a loose heavy stone plate on the floor, Caldas uncovers a magnificent blade. It’s exactly the same as the Heart Seeker that Lady Liana wields. The legend of the blacksmith that had forged twins blade has proven true. Omac assigns the fabled sword to Temir, a hero of his own right.
    Bolga searches the husks bodies, and among the remains he finds several coins that will buy them drinks for at least one night at the local inn. He smiles with delight.
    Having scouted everything, Omac gestures the quartet to gather round and return to camp.
    As they reach the camp, they find company with their wounded companions. Rangers scouting the woods stayed with them to keep them safe. Omac offers them hospitality, but they cannot stay, they are on patrol, and soon depart.

    Session Summary

    This was one of the fastest battles I’ve run in Five Leagues from the Borderlands. I’ve had lots of fun, because I like light, fast games, and with all the delves lately, I had started to worry a bit. But my worries were all dissolved. I think I’ll continue hunting down the threats for the time being, but I might have to reach a settlement first. Staying in Camp has started to tire my warband.

    On another note, I’ve gotten word that the hardcopy books have started shipping. Eagerly waiting for my own shipping confirmation! Oh and this means that Five Leagues from the Borderlands 3rd Edition is now available as PDF-only option from DrivethruRPG for those that want it.

  • giorgis 11:01 am on June 4, 2022 Permalink | Reply
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    In the Aristrax Marches – Ep07 

    Previously in the Aristrax Marches, the Ravens of Gadun delved in the old ruins of Ghostwood forest to recover the Parchments of Ugmal. Unfortunately after clearing the first floor of the dungeon, the Parchments were nowhere to be found, and they will have to delve deeper.

    Turn 11

    The party camped in the wilderness. For camp events I rolled that we saw a choice animal and get to roll twice in the rewards table if we go on a successful Hunting expedition and keep both results! Of course, hunting is now on the table.

    For Upkeep I have to pay 1 Gold Mark, and I scratch off one turn of Myric’s Recovery (more on that later).

    For Campaign Activities, Bolga Foraged for Herbs, successfuly and got a dose of Ironwood root.
    Boots went on a Hunting Expedition and brought back two packs of Rations and discovered some Suspicious Tracks earning us 1 Adventure Point.

    For the Adventuring stage we choose to continue the Quest and proceed with the 2nd Level of the Delve.

    The Ravens camped outside the old ruins, taking care to guard the entrance to the dungeon. The ruins spread across the forest, so it is possible that other entries were possible, but Omac wanted to ensure that they wouldn’t give the advantage to anyone wanting their chance to the Parchments of Ugmal.
    He assigned Bolga and Caldas to forage and hunt, since they’re what he considers the rangers of the party. They have their way with the land, and boy was he proud of his leader choices when they returned with herbs and supplies. Caldas even shared that he found gnawling tracks heading east. Information like that always proves important.

    Once they were all fed and rested he stood up, packed his gear, and gave a speech.
    “Ravens. We have another chance now to strike evil at it’s source. We’ll go deeper and deeper in the ruins, and get those scripts before anyone else. We have the skill and the strength, and we WILL SUCCEED!.” Their morale high, the warband entered the ruin, with Boots once more leading the way.

    Caldas moved ahead first, and rolled A quiet entrance. I didn’t want to place any enemies at the centre of the table, giving them a higher chance of encountering us, so I decided to go ahead with the enemies.

    I’ve rolled that the Foes are from The Curse of War threat, and it’s 7 Opportunistic Pillagers (2 slingers) with no Leadership.

    With his first move, Boots is within LOS of the pillagers to the North.
    NOTE: At the end of the battle I realized Myrick shouldn't have joined as he was recovering. Nevertheless mistakes happen, so I dealt with it in what I considered a fair manner afterwards. Myrick will not be counting down a Recovery Turn of course.

    The Combat

    ROUND 1

    The halfling moves North quickly in the main passage through the rooms to explore the dungeon, and he comes upon 3 pillagers. Their warband must have entered the dungeon to loot, or -who knows- if they’re aware of the Parchments, to get them for their own. Not wasting a moment he charges at one of the trio, and with his light fencing blade, he carves a ‘C’ on the chest of his enemy, before he slices at his throat. Unfortunately as he does that, he hears footsteps to his left, and two more pillagers appear.
    A slinger swings his sling at the halfling but misses, so his companion charges at Boots. He fends him off, and wounds him with a swift strike before moving out of the way.

    Lady Liana and Omac move north to assist the quick halfling, while Bolga, Temir and Myrick move to the West.

    The hulking duskling is careless and springs of a trap. A huge gong sound echoes through the ruin, and two more pillagers arrive to investigate it.

    ROUND 1
    ROUND 2

    Boots attacks the wounded pillager, and finishes him with a quick stab, but the slinger follows up with another shot while the halfling is pre-occupied in melee, and wounds him.

    Meanwhile Bolga and Temir charge at their opponents. Bolga cleaves a pillager in half, while Temir merely harms his enemy, who still stands. He tries desperately to get back at Temir, who deflects the blow, and follows back with one of his own, eliminating his foe.

    One of the warriors attacks Lady Liana, but she blocks his attacks, and is pushed back in a draw. Omac joins in the fray, but he too is stopped by his enemy, who retreats backwards.
    Myric shoots his bow at his enemies, but the arrow is stopped by their linen armour.

    Seeing their companions fall, two pillagers flee, but the rest seem now even more resolute to defeat the Ravens.

    ROUND 2
    ROUND 3

    Omac continues his melee with his enemy, but once more it’s a draw. A slinger shoots at him, but his plate armour easily deflects the bullet. The pillager doesn’t want to let go and lashes back at the Beard. He feigns a parry and then swings his sword in a quick slash that cuts the pillager along the shoulder, all to the chest, killing him. Another warrior charges at Omac when his attention is elsewhere, but thankfully the plate armour saves him once more. The blow is staggering and Omac is pushed backwards, behind Lady Liana. Now she’s attacked by another pillager, but she doesn’t intercept the blow. It gets through the armor and she’s down.

    With the Beard covering the North, wounded Caldas runs South to head for cover.

    To the other side, the warband still searches for the Parchments, when Myrick hears footsteps behind him. He turns to the enemy approaching from the entrance to the dungeon, but he hasn’t put his strength and he’s merely stunned.

    Temir’s attention is drawn to the far distance where three more pillagers appear to be guarding a stash. He curses between his teeth believing they’re holding the Parchments, but as he’s about to move to them, something catches his attention. Behind a dark coloured brick is a hidden shelf, holding an ancient tome. It’s the Parchments of Ugmal! He tucks them under his cloak and whistles to the rest of the warband that they must retreat. They still will have to clear the enemies blocking their way out.

    ROUND 3
    ROUND 4

    Omac attempts to cast a binding spell to hold his foes in place while he retreats safely, but he messes up the incantation and it fizzles to nothingness. A warrior attacks him, but he uses his staff to parry and manages to hold him off, albeit he’s pushed back in the process.
    Myrick is attacked by the warrior at the entrance. He tries his best, but falls under his enemy’s spear. Temir draws his bow and shoots at him. The arrow is lodged in the arm of the warrior who cries out in pain. Boots moves closer and shoots his sling at him. The bullet hits him in the head, bringing him down. The way out is clear.

    ROUND 4
    ROUND 5

    Omac focuses this time, and the binding spell is successful. Under cover, Boots runs out of the dungeon. The wounded halfling is safe. Temir and Bolga move closer to the exit.

    One of the pillagers breaks out of the binding spell, but his companions block the way. He cries out to let him pass, but they can’t move a muscle. Their feet, are like lead, rooted to the ground.

    Assisted by the spell covering their escape, Omac, Bolga and Temir get out of the dungeon safely, the Parchments of Ugmal in their possession.

    ROUND 5 + ROUND 6

    Rolling on the Resolution stage I got that Liana has a Serious Injury for 6 Turns Recovery Time, while Myrick was only Knocked Out.

    As described above, this is where I realized I made a SERIOUS mistake here. Myrick wasn't supposed to join this battle as he was in recovery. Yet he did, and also was KO. I'm pondering on what I should do to keep things fair.
    I think I should roll a 2nd time and keep this result, and also scratch off the A lucky break option.
    So rerolling on Myrick: Item Damage: Light Armor. Okay. He's gotten a lucky break there, but I'm keeping his 5 Recovery Turns, and not reducing them.

    On the Advancement both Boots and Temir Level Up.
    Boots: rolled Speed or Skill: so I choose the Wits Skill.
    Temir rolled Agility or Toughness Increase and I chose Toughness.

    For Loot, I have Achieved the Objective , but I did not Hold the Field.
    Loot Roll: Valuables: Bag of Foreign Coins: 3 Gold Marks worth.

    Since the Quest Task #2 was Completed I rolled for the Quest Find: You have gained an item of great value during this task. I rolled up an Enchanted Item on the Loot subtables. The item rolled is Shadow Flight.

    Also I get to see if the Quest has another Task or I move to the Quest Finale and it’s the Finale! For story’s sake I decided to roll the Enemy Threat now and it’s Whispers from Beyond.

    Rolling on the News Events table, I’ve gotten that the Enemy is acting against you so I’ll negate my Ignore the First Enemy Plans roll.

    With the Parchments of Ugmal tucked safely, the Ravens of Gadun retreated tactically out of the ruins, carrying their wounded friends.

    Once they reached the safety of their camp they tended to their wounds. Myrick’s old wound had re-opened, from the strike that had ruined his armor. Lady Liana was also seriously wounded, and it would take her a long time to recover.

    As Boots started counting the bag of foreign coins they found, and considering their overall value in Gold Marks, Omac dived deep in the contents of the Parchments.

    What was described within made his hair stand on an end. It was telling the story of Ugmal, a Sorcerer of times old who in his lust for power and immortality delved in the dark arts. In the chronicles of his time he had raised vast armies of the dead, animated to his will, scourging the lands, but what was even more terrifying was the spells written within and the implications of them.

    Ugmal was eventually defeated, but not before placing a contingency plan. With a ritualistic spell he cast, sacrificing entire villages, he is supposed to rise back from the grave and continue his mayhem of destruction. The spell was not finalized, but the components need not be collected again. With the spell still in pause, one has either to complete it, or dispel it, and thankfully the Parchments describe how to do both. That’s why they needed the Parchments, to destroy Ugmal once and for all, and also that’s why they shouldn’t fall in the wrong hands.

    Omac reads the parchments again and again, his attention to all the details, when he glimpses Caldas examining a bow made from Ash.
    “What do you have there?” He asks the halfling.
    “This bow I found in the ruins. Intricate carvings all around. A weird feeling overcomes me when I hold it.” Caldas answers.
    “It can’t be!” Omac exclaims. “But yet!”
    He searches into the Parchments, and starts reciting. “…and Ugmal enchanted a bow for his lieutenant, from the strongest Ash wood, with runes, and named it Shadow Flight, and no tree, fence or stone could protect you from it’s arrows…”
    “This will be helpful.” Caldas smiles. “Where to next, Raven?” He asks.
    “The overgrown ruins of a stone tower in the Blighted Vale. That’s where Ugmal was defeated.” Omac answers, but looks to his wounded Ravens. Can they succeed with only four? He wonders.

    Session Summary

    Busy real life has got in the way and it took me a long while to play and post this report. Also this was the reason for the mistakes I did with the wounded party members.
    I have a chance now to finish my Quest, but I’m very cautious as to going in with only 4 strong. I may have to switch to other adventures first. I carefully described the quest narrative so as to make sense with the game mechanics. It might also be a nice change of scenery doing some overhead battles because for some reason most of the battles I’ve done so far where in dungeons, and it has gotten a bit repetitive.

    • Hambut 12:37 pm on June 4, 2022 Permalink | Reply

      What a cool write up. Like the Ugmal back story. Reminds me of Clark Ashton Smith weird fiction. Looking forward to see what comes next.

      Liked by 1 person

      • giorgis 1:40 pm on June 4, 2022 Permalink | Reply

        Thank you! Defining the quest narrative comes with its own challenge but I find that it is well worth it!


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