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  • giorgis 6:55 pm on May 2, 2023 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: 5leagues,   

    In the Aristrax Marches – Ep31 

    Previously in the Aristrax Marches, the Ravens of Gadun hunted down and defeated a duskling warband in a cave complex near Langecliffe.

    Turn 47

    For Town Events I rolled Supportive Locals. The Upkeep was at 1 Gold Mark. For Campaign Activities we Meet the Locals and had a Brief Chat. Gerk went to Pray while Rina Trained. We sold Camp Gear.

    The Ravens of Gadun had been on the road for some time, and the opportunity to rest and resupply in Langecliffe was a welcome one. As they made their way through the village, they were greeted by friendly locals who offered to lend them a hand.
    Bolga, the leader of the warband, stopped to chat with a group of farmers who were busy tending to their crops. “Fine day for a harvest,” he remarked, nodding to the fields of wheat and corn that stretched out as far as the eye could see.
    “Aye, that it is,” one of the farmers replied. “We’re grateful for the rain we’ve had these past few weeks. Makes for a bountiful crop.”
    Caldas, the halfling warrior, was approached by a group of children who were playing a game of tag in the village square. “Hey, mister, do you want to play with us?” one of the children asked.
    Caldas grinned and pulled out his sling. “Sure thing, kiddos. Let’s see if I can keep up with you.”
    Myrick, the rogue, spotted a group of locals gathered around a blacksmith’s forge. He made his way over to see what was going on. “What’s the excitement?” he asked.
    The blacksmith, Eadric, looked up from his work and smiled. “Just finishing up a commission for a local farmer. Nothing too exciting, I’m afraid.”
    Rina, the fey-blooded outsider, headed to an open field outside the village where she could train with her war spear and longbow. She spent a few hours honing her skills, working on her footwork and her aim.
    Meanwhile, Gerk, the Preen warrior, headed to the temple to offer a prayer to his deity. He bowed his head in reverence as he approached the altar, his short sword strapped to his belt.
    As the day wore on, the warband decided to sell some of their camping gear in the market. They set up a stall and began hawking their wares, drawing the attention of several curious locals.
    “Fine swords and camping gear for sale!” Bolga shouted, holding up a finely crafted longsword. “Come and get ’em while they’re hot!”
    One villager approached the stall and eyed the equipment suspiciously. “Where’d you get all this gear?” he asked.
    Bolga smirked. “Let’s just say we came across it in our travels. Trust me, it’s all of the highest quality.”
    In the end, the warband was able to sell most of their gear and make a tidy profit. As the sun began to set, they made their way back to their lodgings, grateful for the hospitality of the friendly locals in Langecliffe.

    For Adventuring we will Travel to the Duskling Hideout to Raid it and eliminate the Duskling Warbands Threat. Travel was Uneventful.

    The warband sits around a small table in the common room of The Weary Knave inn, deep in discussion about their next move. Bolga, the Butcher, takes the lead.
    “We’ve spent enough time in Langecliffe. It’s time to finish what we started and take out that duskling warband once and for all,” he declares, slamming his hand on the table for emphasis.
    Myrick, the Hood, nods in agreement. “We can’t let them keep terrorizing the countryside. It’s time to put an end to it.”
    Rina, who has been sharpening her war spear, speaks up. “We’ll need a plan. They won’t be easy to take down.”
    Bolga nods. “Agreed. We’ll need to scout out their hideout and see what we’re dealing with. Once we have a plan, we strike.”
    Caldas, Boots, leans back in his chair. “I have a contact in a nearby town who might be able to give us some information. I can reach out to him and see what he knows.”
    Gerk, who had been quietly listening, speaks up. “And what about the villagers here? We could use their help. They owe us a debt for protecting them.”
    Myrick scoffs. “They’re farmers and bakers, not warriors. They’ll only get in the way.”
    Bolga glares at him. “We’ll take all the help we can get. We’ll approach them cautiously, see if any of them are willing to lend their aid.”
    With their plan in place, the warband finishes their drinks and prepares to set out on their mission. They gather their weapons and gear, making sure they have everything they need for the journey ahead.
    As they step outside, the sun is setting, casting long shadows across the village square. The villagers look up at them with a mix of fear and admiration, grateful for their protection but wary of their reputation.
    Bolga addresses them, his voice booming. “We’re leaving now, but we’ll be back. And when we return, we’ll have rid this land of the duskling warband for good.”
    The villagers nod their heads, some murmuring words of encouragement. As the warband makes their way out of the village and into the darkening forest, they know that the road ahead will be fraught with danger. But they are ready to face whatever lies ahead, for the sake of the people they have sworn to protect.

    The enemy was rolled to be 8 Prowling Renegades and a Captain.

    As the Ravens of Gadun approach the duskling hideout, they keep their guard up and move cautiously. The hideout is nestled in a rocky outcropping, with a narrow entrance that is easily defended. The warband takes a moment to observe the perimeter and notice several patrolling renegades, some of them dragging weapons behind them while they scout for potential enemies.
    Bolga turns to his companions and speaks in a low voice, “Looks like there’s a fair number of them, but we can take them. We’ll need to be careful though, they’re bound to have traps set up.”
    Myrick nods in agreement, “We’ll need to find a way to lure them out, or take them out one by one.”
    Caldas adds, “I could try to sneak in and take out their captain, that might help.”
    Rina nods, “We’ll have to move quickly. The longer we wait, the more likely it is that they’ll catch onto us.”
    Gerk interjects, “Let’s not forget that we’ve got Kael with us. He could prove useful in a surprise attack.”
    The warband spends a few more moments observing the duskling hideout and devising a plan. They note the location of the traps and possible points of entry, then head back a safe distance to finalize their strategy.
    Bolga looks at his companions and says, “Alright, let’s do this. We’ll take them by surprise and hit them hard. Stay alert and watch each other’s backs.”
    The warband nods in agreement, then sets off towards the duskling hideout, ready to engage in battle.


    As the sun begins to set, the Ravens of Gadun approach the duskling hideout, moving quietly and with purpose. Caldas and Kael slink off to the east, making their way through the cover of trees and underbrush. Bolga and Myrick, meanwhile, make their way to the southern rock outcropping, taking care not to make a sound as they climb up and survey the hideout below.
    Once they’re all in position, Caldas manages to find a hidden passage leading into the heart of the hideout. He moves quickly and quietly, but one of the duskling archer guards spots him and sounds the alarm. The rest of the warband hears the signal and begins to move quickly towards the source of the disturbance.
    “Damn it,” Caldas hisses to himself as he draws his sword, ready for whatever comes next. “I was hoping to avoid this.”
    Bolga and Myrick exchange a quick glance before silently nodding to each other and heading towards the commotion. They move with practiced ease, their weapons at the ready, prepared to take down whatever stands in their way.
    As they move closer to the sound of the alarm, they can see the rest of the duskling warband starting to gather, weapons drawn, and ready for a fight. The Ravens of Gadun are outnumbered, but they’re not afraid. They’ve fought against worse odds before and come out on top.
    “Looks like we’re in for a bit of a scrap,” Myrick says with a grin, unsheathing his Heartseeker blade. “Let’s give ’em hell.”
    Bolga nods, his face a mask of determination. “We finish this today, once and for all,” he says. “No more hiding in the shadows. It’s time to take the fight to them.”
    And with that, the warband charges forward, ready to face whatever dangers await them in the duskling hideout.

    Sneak Round
    Round 1

    Caldas moved swiftly through the passage and found himself face to face with the duskling leader, a towering figure covered in scars and tattoos. With a fierce battle cry, Caldas charged at the enemy leader, his fencing sword at the ready. But the duskling was not easily defeated, and he swung his axe with deadly precision, striking Caldas with a heavy blow that sent the halfling flying to the ground, unconscious and bleeding.
    Meanwhile, Bolga was trying to push through the enemy lines to reach the leader. He was blocked by several duskling warriors, but his sheer determination allowed him to climb the rock outcropping and attack one of the enemy from behind. His cleaver sliced through the duskling’s back, killing him instantly. Myrick followed closely behind Bolga, keeping his blade ready to strike, but the duskling warriors kept their distance and tried to shoot arrows at the two heroes. However, the arrows bounced harmlessly off their armor.
    As the fight intensified, the duskling leader showed his strength and combat prowess by taking on Myrick with two of his warriors at once. Myrick dodged and parried the duskling’s strikes, but the enemy leader was relentless. Rina fired her longbow from the south, trying to hit the duskling archer, but her aim was off and the arrow missed.
    On the eastern side, Kael charged at a duskling guard, hoping to break through the enemy lines. However, the duskling was ready for him and pushed Kael back with a powerful bash. Despite the heroes’ bravery, the duskling warband refused to retreat.
    The duskling leader was a fearsome sight, covered in scars and tattoos. He wore a chainmail shirt and carried a battle axe with deadly precision. His eyes glowed with a fierce red light, revealing the power of his fey blood.

    Round 1
    Round 2

    Bolga cuts down a duskling warrior who stands in his way, his cleaver slicing through the enemy’s flesh and bone. With a path cleared, Myrick charges towards the duskling leader, his Heartseeker blade glinting in the dim light of the hideout. The duskling leader tries to defend himself, but Myrick’s sword finds its mark twice, cutting through the leader’s armour and bringing him down dead.
    Meanwhile, Rina fires her longbow at a duskling archer, but the arrow is stopped by the thick hide armor. The other duskling archer shoots at Myrick, but his Stout Defender magical armor saves him from harm. Two duskling warriors try to attack Bolga and Myrick, but they are quickly dispatched by the heroes.
    On the eastern flank, Kael fends off a duskling’s attack and finds the distance to shoot his crossbow at the enemy, the bolt killing the duskling with a well-placed shot. Rina shoots her bow again, aiming at the duskling archer who had broken his bowstring, but her arrow misses the mark.
    Seeing his comrades defeated, the last duskling archer flees, leaving only the duskling with the broken bowstring standing in the battlefield against the warband. The duskling looks around, realizing he is the only one left. He drops his bow and draws his sword, preparing for a fight.
    “You’ve got guts, I’ll give you that,” Bolga says, grinning at the duskling. “But it’s time to face your fate.”

    Round 2
    Round 3

    The duskling snarls, lunging forward with his sword. Bolga parries the attack with his cleaver, and Myrick follows up with a thrust from his Heartseeker blade, piercing the duskling’s armor and ending his life. The warband stands victorious, their enemies defeated.

    Round 3


    We rolled 2 Adventure Points earned for being Victorious against an Enemy Threat and got 1 Adventure Point for slaying an enemy Captain. 6 Adventure Points were spent directly on reducing the Duskling Threat by 1, going to 0 and effectively eliminating them.
    Caldas was merely Dead but I spent a Story Point and he was Moderately Injured for 1 Turn of Recovery.
    Caldas earned 1 XP, while the rest of the warband 2 XP each, and Myrick 3 XP. Rina advanced to Level 3 and earned a Combat Skill increase.
    We had 2 Loot rolls for achieving the Objective which was a Maille of Shadows, going to Gerk and a set of Throwing Knives. Also for Holding the Field we got 2 Unusual Finds which were a Captive from Fey Wall and a Key Individual Slain earning us 2 Adventure Points more.
    On News Events rolled, a virulent disease is at *Langecliffe.
    For clearing a Threat we earned 1 Story Point and a Loot roll which was another set of Throwing Knives.
    For the overall Victory we rolled 4 Story Points and 8 Gold Marks.

    The Ravens of Gadun emerged victorious from the bloody battle against the duskling warbands, but not without taking some casualties. Caldas was lucky to have survived the skirmish, albeit with some moderate injuries.
    As the warband began looting the battlefield, they found a valuable enchanted armour, the Maille of Shadows, and a set of throwing knives. Myrick inspected the Maille of Shadows and confirmed its magical properties, while Bolga examined the throwing knives with great interest.
    “Looks like we’ve hit the jackpot, lads!” Bolga exclaimed with a grin. “These throwing knives will come in handy on our next adventure.”
    But the most valuable find was the slain duskling leader, who turned out to be a key figure among the enemy warbands. The warband knew that this victory would weaken the enemy’s morale and give them an advantage in future battles.
    As they continued to search the battlefield, they came across a captive villager from Fey Wall. Myrick approached the prisoner, his Heartseeker blade still in hand, and asked, “What’s your name, lad?”
    The villager looked up at Myrick, his eyes wide with fear. “M-My name is… is E-Edric, sir.”
    Myrick sheathed his blade and helped Edric to his feet. “You’re safe now, Edric. We’ll take you back to your village.”
    The warband made their way back to Langecliffe, but news of a virulent disease in the village had reached their ears. They decided it was best not to risk infection and made camp outside the village.
    “We’ll wait until the disease has passed before we head in,” Kael said. “We don’t want to risk bringing it back.”
    The warband settled in for the night, exhausted but victorious. They knew that the road ahead would be difficult, but they were prepared for whatever lay ahead.

    The warband of Ravens of Gadun, weary and wounded, emerged victorious from the final battle against the Duskling Warbands, and their spirits were lifted by the news that the Aristrax Marches were finally safe. The weight of their accomplishments and the memories of their fallen friends weighed heavy on them, but they found solace in the fact that their mission was finally complete.
    Bolga, the Butcher, led the group in a small celebration. They lit a bonfire and drank ale and wine that they had plundered from the enemy’s stores. They shared stories of their battles and the fallen, remembering their bravery and sacrifice.
    “We did it, my friends!” Bolga declared, raising his mug of ale. “We have secured the Aristrax Marches from all major organized threats. The villagers are safe, and the lands are secure. We have achieved what Omac set out to do, and we did it together.”
    Caldas, the halfling, sat quietly beside the fire, his leg propped up on a log. “But at what cost?” he muttered to himself, gazing into the flames.
    Myrick, the Hood, noticed the halfling’s somber mood and sat beside him. “What’s troubling you, Caldas?” he asked.
    Caldas sighed heavily. “So many of our friends are dead, and for what? To secure a piece of land that will never truly be safe? There will always be threats, always be battles. Is it worth it?”
    Myrick placed a hand on the halfling’s shoulder. “We did what we had to do to protect the innocent. That’s all that matters. We can’t control what the future holds, but we can be proud of what we’ve accomplished.”
    Rina, Gerk, and Kael nodded in agreement, raising their own mugs to toast the fallen.
    The warband spent the rest of the night reminiscing and honoring their dead. The next morning, they would need to decide on their next steps, but for now, they were content to celebrate their victory and the memories of those who had fallen along the way.

    As the Ravens of Gadun recollect their accomplishments and the memories of their fallen comrades, a solemn silence falls over the warband. Bolga, the Butcher, stands tall and proud, surveying the battlefield with a mixture of pride and sorrow.
    “We have fought well,” he says, his voice booming across the clearing. “Our mission is complete, and the Aristrax Marches are safe once more. But we cannot forget the sacrifices that were made. Our fallen comrades will be forever remembered.”
    Caldas nods in agreement, his wounds nearly healed. “We could not have done it without each other,” he says. “We have all played our part in this.”
    Myrick, the Hood, steps forward, his eyes flickering with a mischievous light. “And let’s not forget the treasures we found,” he says. “These will come in handy for future battles.”
    Rina, the fey-blooded outsider, steps forward as well, her war spear at her side. “But what of our next move?” she asks. “Do we continue on, searching for new threats to vanquish? Or do we return home, to rest and regroup?”
    Gerk, the Preen warrior, speaks up. “I say we stay together. We have been through too much to simply disband now. There are always new threats to be found.”
    Kael, the Feral outsider, nods in agreement. “I am with Gerk. We stay together, and we continue our mission. The Aristrax Marches may be safe for now, but there are other lands that need us.”
    The warband falls silent, each member lost in thought. Bolga looks around at his companions, seeing the determination in their eyes.
    “Very well,” he says, a hint of a smile tugging at his lips. “We will continue on. The Ravens of Gadun ride once more.”
    As the warband sets off into the distance, their path uncertain but their spirits high, they know that they will face many more challenges in the future. But they also know that they are stronger together, and that their bond of brotherhood will see them through whatever trials may come.
    And so, the Ravens of Gadun ride on, their legacy secure, their name feared by their enemies and celebrated by their allies.

    Campaign Review

    It’s done!!!
    And with this battle, 31 Session Episodes and 47 Turns, the Aristrax Marches campaign in Five Leagues from the Borderlands is at long last complete.
    Feelings are positively mixed, the long grind made it difficult at times, and I risked burn out, but on the other hand I wanted a long campaign and the accomplishment now is under my belt.

    What I liked:

    • A vivid world. All the different tables connect together and provide more than ample feedback for prover narrative. Combat is fun and fast. Characters are unique. Enemies require different tactics. A great experience.

    What could be better:

    • An option to have the campaign driven by the rulebook. At the moment it’s all up to the player to decide how the story will go. I’d like it better if the player’s hand was forced more often than not, and the player choice to be a welcome respite. The framework to do this is there.

    What was the difficulty:

    • The game is not inherently balanced, but I have a slight feeling that for non-mystic characters, the Combat Skill increase is weighed heavily, and this can lead to a quick increase to CS +3 which can move the scales in favor of the warband. Once you’re well equipped with armor and weapons, combat can easily be in your favor.

    Overall this was a very enjoyable experience, but I am also relieved that I can let myself free to try out something else now, since I had focused on the campaign finish task and I didn’t want to deviate from it (though I did a few times) until it was complete. I decided to do it this way mainly to ensure that I would finish the campaign within a logical time frame (I’d hate for it to draw longer than one year, and it was already almost 14 months in), and to avoid forgetting the narrative due to other concurrent stories from other campaigns.
    As I wrote in a previous post, perhaps if I worked through the campaign in a slower pace, with more focus on the story and what made sense, this could be even more fun, but as I was nearing the finish I just wanted to have it done.
    ChatGPT has really helped me with the narrative texts, as the story becomes an interesting read to me also. I doubt I’d be able to keep up with the story in such a detailed manner if it wasn’t for AI support.

    With this complete, I’ll be focusing a bit on miniatures painting. As for the next choice for gaming, I think it will be either shorter or less intensive. I’m leaning towards sci-fi themes now, but I haven’t settled on anything yet, nor have I decided if it will be RPG or skirmish.

  • giorgis 9:35 pm on April 30, 2023 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: 5leagues,   

    In the Aristrax Marches – Ep30 

    Previously in the Aristrax Marches, the Ravens of Gadun hunted down and defeated a Wyvern in it’s lair near Langecliffe. However during the battle with the beast, Temir was stung by the Wyvern’s venomous tail and perished.

    Turn 46

    The Ravens of Gadun arrive in Langecliffe with heavy hearts, carrying the corpse of their fallen comrade Temir. They make their way to the local temple, where they hope to find a priest to perform the funeral service.
    Inside the temple, they find a somber atmosphere with dimly lit candles and the faint scent of incense. Bolga approaches the altar and speaks to the priest, a somber man in simple robes.
    “We’ve come to give our fallen brother a proper send-off. Will you help us with the funeral service?”
    The priest nods solemnly and begins to prepare the altar. Myrick steps forward and lays Temir’s body on the altar. Rina places a sprig of mistletoe on his chest, a traditional symbol of protection in fey culture.
    The priest begins the service, his voice echoing throughout the temple. “We gather here today to honor the life and passing of Temir. Though he was not of our community, he fought alongside us and earned our respect. We mourn his loss and offer him to the embrace of the gods.”
    As the priest speaks, the Ravens of Gadun take turns offering their own words of remembrance and farewell. Myrick shares a few tales of Temir’s exploits, while Caldas recalls his infectious laughter and love of song.
    Finally, Bolga steps forward to offer the final words. “Temir was a brave warrior and a true friend. He gave his life for our cause, and we will never forget his sacrifice. Rest in peace, brother.”
    With the service complete, the Ravens of Gadun prepare to take Temir’s body to a nearby graveyard. As they make their way out of the temple, they hear a faint chuckle from one of the temple’s acolytes.
    “That was a lovely service. Shame Temir won’t be able to enjoy it himself.”
    The Ravens exchange a look of confusion, unsure of how to respond. The acolyte just chuckles and shakes his head.
    “Ah, never mind. Just an old joke. May the gods guide you on your journey.”
    The Ravens of Gadun nod in appreciation and continue on their way, their minds still heavy with grief but their spirits lifted by the knowledge that they have given Temir a proper farewell.

    For Town Events I rolled that we Got Swindled and lost 6 Gold Marks! The Sneaky Thieves that stole our gold have a Camp near Langecliffe, but we will stay on course, as we can take the hit for now. The rules don’t say for how long the camp will stay in place. The Upkeep was at 3 Gold Marks.

    The Ravens of Gadun had just returned to their camp after a long day of scouting and planning. As they settled in for the night, they realized that six gold marks were missing from their stash. Furious, they searched through their belongings, but the money was nowhere to be found.
    “Bloody thieves!” Bolga cursed, slamming his fist on the makeshift table.
    “We can’t let them get away with this,” Caldas growled, his hand already on his sword hilt.
    Myrick, however, raised a hand to calm them down. “We need to focus on the bigger threat right now. We can deal with these scoundrels later.”
    Rina nodded in agreement. “They won’t get far. We’ll find them eventually.”
    And so, they spent the night discussing their plans to take down the duskling warband, but the thought of the stolen gold still gnawed at them.
    The next day, they discreetly inquired around and eventually learned of the thieves’ camp. However, they knew that pursuing them would take time and resources, which they couldn’t spare at the moment.
    “We’ll deal with them after the duskling warband is taken care of,” Bolga declared, his eyes flashing with determination.
    The others nodded in agreement, but Myrick couldn’t help but feel a sense of unease. He knew that leaving the thieves unpunished could come back to bite them in the future.
    For now, though, they had more pressing matters to attend to. The Ravens of Gadun continued with their preparations, keeping a wary eye out for any further treachery.

    For Campaign Activities we Recruited a Follower successfully. I wanted a Feral since I hadn’t had the opportunity to try out this Origin. I used a cat-folk miniature I painted recently, and used ChatGPT to build upon this for the character and backstory.

    The Ravens of Gadun had just lost one of their own, and they needed to find someone to fill the gap in their ranks. Bolga, the warband leader, knew that they couldn’t afford to be short-handed when they faced their enemies.
    They had heard rumors of a skilled warrior with cat-like reflexes, and Bolga had decided to seek him out. The warband had made their way to the local inn, hoping to find someone who fit the bill.
    As they entered the inn, they were greeted by the smell of ale and cooking meat. The place was bustling with people, and they could see groups of travelers and locals huddled together in various corners of the room.
    Bolga scanned the room, his keen eyes searching for any sign of the feral warrior. Suddenly, he caught a glimpse of a figure with white fur sitting alone in a corner. He motioned for his companions to follow him, and they made their way to the table.
    “Good evening,” Bolga said, addressing the feral warrior. “We’re looking for a skilled fighter to join our warband. Would you be interested?”
    The feral warrior looked up, his piercing green eyes locking onto Bolga’s. “I might be,” he said. “What’s in it for me?”
    Bolga smiled, knowing that he had the warrior’s interest. “We’ll pay you well,” he said. “And you’ll be fighting alongside some of the best warriors in the land.”
    The feral warrior considered Bolga’s offer for a moment before nodding his head. “Alright,” he said. “I’ll join you.”
    “Excellent,” Bolga said, grinning. “What’s your name, warrior?”
    The feral warrior stood up, his white fur glimmering in the dim light of the inn. “My name is Kael,” he said. “And I look forward to fighting alongside you.”

    The other Campaign Activity is that Rina will train for 1 XP.
    On the Trade step we will sell Bag of Coins for 3 Gold Marks and a Thief’s tools.

    The warband enters a small shop located in a narrow alley. The shopkeeper, a skinny and haggard-looking man, greets them with a forced smile. Bolga approaches the counter, placing the bag of coins and the set of tools in front of the shopkeeper.
    “I want to sell these,” Bolga says bluntly.
    The shopkeeper inspects the items carefully before nodding. “I can give you one gold mark for the tools and three for the coins.”
    Bolga nods and takes the offered coins. “Deal.”
    As the warband leaves the shop, Rina mentions she wants to spend some time practicing her skills. The group heads to an open area outside the city walls. Rina starts by warming up, doing some stretches and exercises. She then takes out her war spear and begins practicing different moves and techniques.
    Caldas approaches her, watching her movements with interest. “You’re pretty good with that spear,” he comments.
    Rina smiles, “Thanks, I’ve been using it for a long time. It’s my go-to weapon.”
    The two of them continue chatting as Rina practices, with Caldas occasionally giving her tips and suggestions. The sun starts to set as Rina finishes up her training, feeling more confident in her skills. The warband then heads back to their lodgings to rest for the night.

    For adventuring we are hunting down the Duskling warbands threat. They’re in the same map area as Langecliffe, and are hunting my warband and if we lose they will carry out part of the enemy sheme. It’s a Death Sworn Warrior warband of 8 and a Sergeant. The objective is to Search for Something and the theme is Cave Complex.

    As the Ravens of Gadun set out to scout for duskling warbands near Langecliffe, Bolga, the Butcher, briefs the warband on their mission.
    “All right, listen up. We’re looking for any sign of the duskling warbands that have been causing trouble in the area. We’re also searching for something of interest in the cave complex that we’ll be passing by. Keep your wits about you, and be ready for anything.”
    Caldas, the halfling warrior, chimes in, “And remember, we’re not just fighting for ourselves. We’re fighting for our fallen comrade, Temir.”
    Myrick, the human rogue, nods in agreement. “That’s right. Let’s make those duskling bastards pay for what they did to Temir.”
    Rina, the fey-blooded outsider, silently grips her war spear, her eyes fixed on the terrain ahead.
    As the warband reaches the cave complex, Bolga orders them to halt.
    “Something’s not right here,” he says, scanning the area for signs of danger.
    Suddenly, the warband is ambushed by a group of duskling warriors, led by their fierce leader.
    Bolga quickly issues orders to his team, “Take cover! Protect Rina and Myrick. Caldas, use your sling to take out any enemies from a distance.”
    As the battle draws near, the warband readies their weapons and prepares for the fight of their lives.


    For this battle I will be using the theatre of the mind rules as I wasn’t in the mood to set up the table.

    Round 1

    As the battle rages on, Myrick tries to gain a better position to charge the dusklings, but he takes a wrong turn and stumbles. Bolga charges forward and manages to wound a duskling, eventually killing the enemy with a final blow. Caldas, a halfling warrior, also joins the fray and attempts to take down one of the dusklings, but the enemy is able to fend off his attacks.
    Meanwhile, Rina skillfully defends herself against a duskling’s assault with her war spear, deflecting the blows and pushing the enemy back. Another duskling tries to attack Caldas, but the halfling warrior proves to be a tough opponent and manages to parry the strikes.
    Two dusklings then turn their attention to Myrick, but the seasoned warrior is able to counter their attacks and kill one of them. As the fighting continues, one of the dusklings decides to flee from the battle, perhaps sensing that the odds are not in their favor.
    Despite some initial setbacks, the Ravens of Gadun fight bravely, determined to emerge victorious from the skirmish. However, the outcome of the battle remains uncertain, and the warband must continue to fight with all their might to defeat the remaining dusklings.

    Round 2

    Caldas scurried along the cave walls, his halfling size allowing him to move almost unnoticed. He stopped by a corner, his keen senses picking up something ahead. He turned back to the warband and gestured Bolga over, pointing out the location of their objective.
    Bolga gave a nod of acknowledgement and moved to where Caldas pointed. The rest of the group followed, warily watching their surroundings for any more ambushes.
    Myrick was determined to take down the duskling leader and charged forward. However, he misjudged the distance and stumbled, leaving himself open to attack.
    Gerk took advantage of the distraction and quickly darted forward, slashing at the leader with his short sword. The duskling leader retaliated, but Gerk’s quick reflexes allowed him to deflect the blows.
    Another duskling came at Gerk, but the birdfolk fighter fought it off with ease.
    Rina was also targeted by a duskling, but she skillfully countered the attack with her war spear, stabbing and killing the enemy.
    As the skirmish continued, another duskling fled the scene. The warband regrouped, preparing for the next move.

    Round 3

    Bolga searched the area around the cave complex and quickly found signs of the duskling warbands passing through. “I’ve found something!” he shouted to the rest of the warband. Caldas charged at the wounded duskling leader, determined to take him down. The halfling darted forward with his short sword in hand, but the enemy leader was not so easily defeated. With a strong blow, the duskling knocked Caldas out cold.
    The duskling leader, now turning his attention to Bolga, charged at the imposing orc with his own blade drawn. The two engaged in a fierce duel, trading blows and parries, but in the end, it was Bolga who emerged victorious. With a swift, powerful swing of his cleaver, Bolga hacked down the duskling leader.
    Meanwhile, another duskling tried to take advantage of the situation by attacking Bolga from behind, but the orc warrior was too quick for him. With a deft movement of his blade, he fended off the attack and quickly turned to face his new foe.
    Myrick, for his part, was not having much luck in the fight. He attempted to charge one of the dusklings, but his efforts were in vain as he failed to cover the distance. Nonetheless, he stood his ground and blocked the duskling’s attacks, determined not to fall.
    As the battle raged on, another duskling fled the scene, clearly realizing that he was outmatched. Only two of the enemy remained, fighting fiercely against the warband.

    Round 4

    Bolga swings his cleaver, the blade flashing in the dim light of the cave. The dusklings back away, trying to avoid his deadly strikes. With a fierce roar, Bolga charges forward, the cleaver whistling through the air. The duskling tries to dodge, but it’s too slow. The first blow slices through its arm, and the second cleaves its skull in two. The dusklings’ body falls to the ground, twitching in its death throes.
    As Bolga turns to face the last remaining enemy, the dusklings’ fear is evident in its eyes. It lunges forward, trying to strike Bolga with its jagged claws, but Bolga is too quick. He sidesteps the attack, the cleaver poised for the killing blow. But as the duskling realizes the fight is hopeless, it turns and runs away.
    Bolga watches the dusklings’ retreating form, feeling a sense of satisfaction that the warband has achieved their objective. He turns to his comrades, a grin on his face. “Looks like we’re done here,” he says. “Let’s gather up our things and head back to camp.”


    We rolled 3 Adventure Points earned for being Victorious against an Enemy Threat. 6 Adventure Points were spent directly on reducing the Duskling Threat by 1, going down to the last 1.
    Caldas was merely Knocked Out.
    Caldas earned 1 XP, while the rest of the warband 2 XP each. Kael earned the Scouting skill in the Flash of Insight, and also I spent 6 Adventure Points to make him a Hero.
    We had 1 Loot roll for achieving the Objective which was a Camp Gear. Also for Holding the Field we got Unusual Finds which was a Fine Standard Weapon.
    On News Events rolled, an old Friend sent us a Letter.

    As Caldas regained consciousness, the group searched the area for any spoils of war. Bolga scoured the battlefield and came across a fine sword that was worth a small fortune. Caldas found a set of camping gear that would be useful for their future expeditions.
    With their task complete, they returned to Langecliffe to rest and recover. As they arrived, they were surprised to receive a letter from their friend Damay, a roving halfling knight.
    Gerk eagerly opened the letter and read it aloud to the group, “My dear friends, I hope this letter finds you well. I’ve been on the road for some time now, searching for adventure and fortune. I’ve recently come across some information that may be of interest to you. It concerns an ancient tomb, deep within the Savage Mountains. I believe it to be full of treasure and ancient artifacts. If you’re interested, meet me in the town of Newhorn in three weeks’ time. Yours truly, Damay.”
    Excitement filled the group as they pondered the possibility of riches and glory.

    Session Summary

    Running the battle without miniatures is so much faster! It was a refreshing choice after all the previous battles, and I’m all ready for the final battle at the Duskling Hideout. If we’re successful (which is very much likely, considering the skills of the warband), then this will be the closure of this really long campaign in Five Leagues from the Borderlands.
    I might consider doing some Special Episodes in the future, unfettered from victory conditions or the strict continuation of the campaign. Like I will be able to do some missions to eliminate the strugglers in the enemy camps or anything similar if I feel like it, in between whatever game I may be running then.
    But I get ahead of myself. We still have one final hideout battle to win and the enemy numbers are going to be higher than normal since we also found evidence of the enemy movements in the region. The loss of Temir is going to weigh heavily against us.

  • giorgis 4:59 pm on April 29, 2023 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: 5leagues,   

    In the Aristrax Marches – Ep29 

    Previously in the Aristrax Marches, the Ravens of Gadun hunted down and defeated a duskling warband near Fey Wall. However news reached them of a rampaging monster near Langecliffe.

    Turn 45

    For Town Events I rolled that we Got in a Fight however, a friend managed to get us out of the tough spot. The Upkeep was at 1 Gold Mark, and Rina reduced her healing time by one turn, and is ready for battle. Temir Prayed to earn a +5 on a prospective Injury roll, but the Devotion skill test was unsuccessful, so the blessing will only last for this turn. On the Trade step we will sell Art Object for 3 Gold Marks and a Partial Armour. We decided to Travel to Langecliffe to hunt down the monster in the Monster Lair. I decided to keep the suspense of what monster it is until the last minute, when we see it on the battlefield.

    Gerk was never one to shy away from a fight, and it wasn’t long before he found himself in one with a local. The fight ended with the yokel lying flat on the ground, but it also meant trouble for the warband as the yokel’s family demanded recompense for their injured relative.
    Thankfully, Aliol was available in Fey Wall to help out. As a scholar, he had a way with words, and he spoke for the Ravens of Gadun, convincing the locals that no recompense was due. “You see, good people,” Aliol began, his voice calm and reasonable, “my companions were only defending themselves. They meant no harm, but the yokel here was insistent on causing trouble.”
    The locals murmured amongst themselves, but Aliol continued to speak. “We will leave Fey Wall and not return soon, but we ask that you do not trouble us further. We are on a mission, and any further delays will only hinder our progress.”
    The locals seemed to agree with Aliol’s words, and they dispersed without any further confrontation. Rina’s injury had healed with rest, and Temir spent his time praying to the old gods. Gerk, on the other hand, took the opportunity to train in combat skills.
    Despite the setback in Fey Wall, the warband managed to sell some art objects and a studded leather, and they decided to travel to Langecliffe to find the monster lair. The journey was uneventful, and they arrived in the small town without any trouble.
    As they made their way through the town, they overheard whispers of the monster in the surrounding region. “It’s been attacking caravans and travelers,” said a local merchant, shaking his head. “Some say it’s the work of dusklings.”
    The warband exchanged a look, knowing that dusklings were involved meant trouble. “We’ll need to find this monster and put a stop to it,” Myrick said firmly.
    With that, the warband set off to find the monster lair and put an end to its rampage.


    Caldas was successful on our Scouting skill test, so we found the entrance to the lair easily. I rolled a theme for the battlefield to be the Edge of Woods.

    Scout Step

    Caldas crept through the thick forest, his senses heightened as he searched for any signs of the monster lair. The dense foliage obscured his vision, but he moved carefully, making as little noise as possible. As he moved deeper into the woods, he saw a small clearing up ahead.
    He approached the clearing cautiously, scanning his surroundings for any signs of danger. As he stepped into the open space, he saw a strange mark on the ground – a series of clawed footprints that seemed to lead into the forest. He followed the tracks, his heart racing with anticipation.
    Caldas continued to scout the lair alone, moving silently through the dense forest. He searched every nook and cranny, looking for any signs of the monster. As he reached the second curious location, he saw the tracks of the beast. They were fresh and deep, a clear indication that the monster was nearby.
    Caldas slowly moved towards the tracks, his hand gripping his weapon tightly. He approached a large boulder and saw the monster’s lair hidden behind it. He peered around the edge of the boulder and saw the Wyvern, still unaware of his presence.
    Caldas quickly signaled to the rest of the warband that it was time to move in and prepare to fight. They had been expecting a difficult battle, but none of them were prepared for the monstrous sight that awaited them in the heart of the Wyvern’s lair.

    Scout Step
    Round 1

    Temir, with his Heartseeker blade, charged forward to attack the beast. The magical sword glimmered as it sliced through the thick hide of the Wyvern. However, the beast was still strong, and it retaliated with a swift jab from its tail. Temir prepared for a counter-attack, but the poison sting brought him down.
    Caldas attempted to flank the Wyvern, but his slim fencing sword proved useless against the scales. The Wyvern thrashed around, sending Caldas back.
    Bolga saw an opening and went in for an attack from the other side. His cleaver hacked at the Wyvern, wounding it further, but the beast was still alive. He tried to slash at it again, but it only left a scratch. On his third strike, Bolga failed to get through the thick hide.
    The Wyvern took to the air and jumped above the heroes’ heads, landing in front of Myrick. It attempted to attack him, but the skilled warrior evaded all three of its strikes.
    Having taken some distance, Myrick pulled out his bow and shot arrows at the Wyvern, but they merely bounced off its scaly hide.
    Rina, however, took aim with her fey-eyes, her arrow finding a gap and wounding the Wyvern. The beast was barely standing.
    Gerk, emboldened by the furious fighting, attacked the Wyvern in melee, but the Wyvern counterattacked. Gerk’s strong birdfolk short and stout stature saved him from being crushed.
    “I can’t get through its scales!” Caldas shouted, struggling to get back on his feet.
    “Then aim for the eyes or the wings!” Rina yelled back, drawing another arrow.
    “We need to take it down now!” Bolga grunted, swinging his cleaver again.
    “We can’t let Temir’s sacrifice go to waste!” Myrick added, loosing another arrow.
    The Wyvern roared in fury, its wings flapping wildly, creating gusts of wind that sent debris flying in all directions. The heroes braced themselves for the final showdown, determined to take down the beast or die trying.

    Round 1
    Round 2

    Bolga’s cleaver sliced through the air, striking the Wyvern’s exposed flank. The beast let out a deafening roar, turning its attention towards Bolga. But it was too late. The cleaver had found its mark, and the Wyvern’s lifeless body fell to the ground.
    Bolga let out a triumphant yell and wiped the sweat from his brow. “That’s how you take down a monster,” he said, grinning at his companions. “Good work, everyone.”
    Myrick nodded in agreement. “Indeed. It was a tough fight, but we emerged victorious.”
    Gerk chuckled. “Ha! And they said we were just a bunch of misfits. Who’s laughing now?”
    Rina smiled at her fellow warband members. “We make a good team,” she said, admiring the group’s different strengths and skills.

    Round 2


    We got 1 Adventure Point earned for Defeating an aberration.
    Temir injury roll gave a result of Dead! even with the extra Blessing. I checked by inventory and I can’t find the dose of Silvertree Leaf, perhaps I had used it before and I can’t remember! Nonetheless this means that we lost a major party member. Not one of the core heroes (Defeat Condition), but a pillar of strength in my fights, that will be missed. I rolled that the Heartseeker blade would be damaged, but this cannot happen according to the rules, so no item was damaged. For losing a hero, we earn 1 Story Point.
    The Reward Rating of the Wyvern is 3, which means 3 XP more for the hero pool, 3 Loot rolls, and 3 Gold Marks. Plus 1 Story Point.
    Bolga, Rina and Myrick earned 3 XP each, while Gerk and Caldas earned 2 XP each.
    Caldas advances to Level 7 earning one Agility Increase, Gerk advances to Level 2 earning a point of Luck and Rina advances to Level 2 earning one Agility Increase.
    The 3 Loot Rolls are Thief’s tools, a Bag of Coins worth 3 Gold Marks and a Fine Bastard Sword.
    On News Events rolled, another Caravan will be at Langecliffe for 2 Turns.

    The warband trudged through the forest, heavy-hearted with the loss of their companion Temir. The poison of the Wyvern had been too potent, too fast, and despite the blessing of the priest, it was not enough to save him.
    Bolga, the fierce duskling warrior who dealt the final blow to the Wyvern, was quiet as they collected the spoils of their victory. He knew that the loss of Temir weighed heavily on the group, and there was little he could say to ease their pain.
    As they made their way towards Langecliffe, a small village on the outskirts of the forest, news of a caravan reached their ears. The warband knew that this could be an opportunity for them to restock their supplies and possibly even find new contracts.
    But the excitement of potential riches was tempered by the loss of their comrade. Rina, the half-elf archer, was visibly shaken by Temir’s death. “He was a good man,” she said quietly. “A brave warrior, and a true friend.”
    Gerk, the birdfolk fighter, chimed in. “He died a hero’s death, fighting for the greater good. His sacrifice will not be forgotten.”
    Caldas, the nimble duelist, nodded in agreement. “We will honor his memory by continuing the fight against evil, no matter the cost.”
    As they reached the outskirts of Langecliffe, the warband steeled themselves for whatever lay ahead. They knew that the road ahead would be filled with danger, but they were determined to press on, in honor of their fallen comrade.

    Session Summary

    Fighting monsters is a great challenge and one of the most fun battle scenarios in Five Leagues from the Borderlands. There’s a great amount of randomness and this means that danger lurks in every corner. The Wyvern is a very dangerous foe, and I could easily have lost 2-3 members with its counterattack and poison abilities. I only lost one member, but the injury roll was terrible (05)! And I had been on a streak spending all my story points and silvertree leaf before, so I lost any opportunity I had to save my hero. Temir was the highest level hero of my warband with a +3 Combat skill, he will surely be missed, and I hope this loss won’t affect the last two threat battles that remain.

  • giorgis 10:56 pm on April 23, 2023 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: 5leagues,   

    In the Aristrax Marches – Ep28 

    Turn 44

    For Town Events I rolled that a Reknowned Scholar visited Fey Wall. I didn’t act on this, and also forgot to give some narrative fluff about it. The Upkeep was at 1 Gold Mark, and Caldas reduced his healing time by one turn and also visited the healer. I decided it was time to repair the Damaged Throwing Knives for 3 Gold Marks. On the Trade step we will sell Bag of Tools for 3 Gold Marks which offset this cost.

    Caldas winced as he applied pressure to his wounded side. The injury he sustained during the previous battle was not severe, but it was enough to slow him down. He knew he needed to rest and recover, but he also needed to get his throwing knives repaired.
    Bolga, the leader of the Ravens of Gadun, knew the importance of keeping their weapons in top condition. “We need to find a blacksmith,” he said. “Caldas, you rest up. Myrick and Temir, come with me.”
    The warband made their way to the smithy, where they found the blacksmith hard at work. The sound of his hammer striking metal echoed through the small shop. Bolga approached him, “We need these throwing knives fixed.” He handed the blacksmith the set of knives. “Can you have them ready by tomorrow?”
    The blacksmith inspected the blades, nodding in agreement. “I can have them ready by midday.”
    “Good,” Bolga replied. “We’ll pick them up then.”
    After leaving the smithy, the warband headed to the market to sell a bag of tools. Myrick carried the bag, and they quickly found a buyer willing to pay 3 gold marks. Myrick handed over the tools, and the warband left the market, their pockets slightly heavier.
    Caldas made his way to the healer’s hut, where he found Eira, the village healer, tending to a sick child. He waited patiently until she was finished before approaching her.
    “Eira,” he said, “I need your help. I’ve taken a wound, and it’s not healing as quickly as I’d like.”
    Eira examined the wound and nodded. “I can help you, but it will take some time. Come back tomorrow, and I’ll have a salve ready for you.”
    Caldas thanked her and left, feeling slightly more at ease. The warband reunited outside of the healer’s hut, ready to continue their journey.

    For adventuring we are hunting down the Duskling warbands threat. They’re in the same map area as Fey Wall, and are hunting my warband and if we lose they will entrench themselves further. It’s a Prowling Renegades warband of 8 (2 self bows) and a Unique Foe, a Ruthless Killer who was hired as additional muscle. The objective is to Fetch Something and the theme is Along the road.

    The Ravens of Gadun stepped out of the hamlet of Fey Wall, their weapons at the ready. They knew that the duskling tribes were still a threat to the peaceful folk in the area, and they were determined to rid the land of their menace. As they made their way down the winding road, the warband soon encountered a group of prowling dusklings. The dusklings appeared to be renegades, with weapons at the ready and murder in their eyes.
    Bolga, the Butcher, stepped forward, his cleaver at the ready. “What do we have here?” he growled, eyeing the dusklings with suspicion.
    One of the dusklings stepped forward, a wicked grin on his face. “You’re the ones who have been killing our kin,” he snarled. “We’ve been sent to put an end to your little scheme.”
    The warband quickly counted the number of dusklings. There were eight of them, led by a ruthless killer named Alcmeg. Bolga gritted his teeth. “So be it,” he said, raising his weapon.
    Alcmeg stepped forward, cracking his knuckles. “You’re going to regret crossing us,” he said, his voice low and menacing.
    Without further warning, the battle began. The dusklings charged forward, their weapons flashing in the sunlight. The Ravens of Gadun stood their ground, meeting the dusklings with ferocity and determination. The clash of metal on metal rang out through the air as the two sides battled fiercely. It was a fight to the death, and neither side was willing to back down.

    The Combat

    Round 1

    The warband and the duskling renegades face off against each other, their weapons at the ready. The tension in the air is palpable as both sides size each other up. Suddenly, Rina jumps up to a low cliff, taking a perch above the fray.
    One of the dusklings, an archer, takes aim at her. His arrow whizzes through the air with deadly intent, but misses its mark by mere inches. Rina looks down at the dusklings with disdain, her hand hovering over her own bow, ready to strike.
    The duskling tribesmen snarl and growl, their eyes filled with a fierce hatred for fey-bloods. They’re known for their ruthless tactics and violent nature, and the warband knows that they’ll have to be on their guard if they want to come out of this battle alive.

    Round 1
    Round 2

    The battle had begun and the two sides closed in, each ready to fight for their lives. Rina took position on a low cliff by the road, scanning the area for any signs of danger. The duskling archers, however, had a different plan in mind. One of them took a shot at her, but missed by a hair’s breadth. Rina quickly moved to another spot, hoping to avoid any further attacks.
    The second duskling archer, determined to take down the fey-blood, climbed on top of a ruined tower. Rina was in range and the duskling aimed a poisoned arrow at her. His aim was true, and the arrow pierced through Rina’s side. She cried out in pain and fell to the ground.
    On the roadside, Caldas was fighting for his life against a prowling renegade. The halfling was quick and agile, dodging the enemy’s attacks and striking back with his fencing sword. He won the battle and killed the duskling, adding one more victory to the warband’s tally.
    Myrick, however, was not so lucky. He attacked Alcmeg, but the enemy pushed him away, leaving him vulnerable to attacks. Temir attacked a duskling with his Heartseeker blade, slicing through the enemy’s armor and cutting it down.
    Caldas, not one to back down, charged back at the enemies, taking down another duskling with his fencing sword. Gerk, seeing that Rina was incapacitated, became enraged and attacked Alcmeg, hoping to avenge his friend. However, the enemy pushed him away, leaving Gerk standing there, helpless and furious.
    Despite their losses, the dusklings stood their ground, refusing to back down. The warband would have to fight tooth and nail to defeat them and survive the battle.

    Round 2
    Round 3

    Bolga scrambled up the ruined tower, his nimble feet finding purchase on every cracked stone. The duskling archer was caught off guard, his back turned to Bolga, as he was still trying to find a clear shot at the warband. Bolga took advantage of the opportunity and swiftly dispatched the archer with a fierce blow from his cleaver.
    Meanwhile, Temir had cornered Alcmeg. The ruthless killer was known for his quick reflexes and deadly accuracy, but Temir’s Heartseeker blade was faster. He launched a series of strikes at Alcmeg, who tried to block them with his own sword, but the blade broke under the onslaught. Alcmeg fell to the ground, his lifeless eyes staring at the sky.
    The remaining duskling archer saw Bolga and took aim, but missed as the duskling ducked behind the tower’s crumbling walls. Myrick was surrounded by three dusklings, but his lightning-fast swordplay kept them at bay. He deflected their attacks and struck back, cutting deep wounds into their flesh.
    Gerk, in the meantime, searched the cliffside for a wooden box he had spotted earlier. Caldas moved quickly, his small frame making him an elusive target. He struck at another duskling and took him down with ease.
    Despite their losses, the remaining dusklings refused to back down. They stood their ground, snarling and hissing at the warband, their eyes filled with hatred and fury. The battle was far from over.

    Round 3
    Round 4

    Gerk’s hand grasped the wooden box, and he lifted it from the ground. The box was heavy, and he could feel something shifting inside it. With a grunt of satisfaction, he turned to rejoin the fray.
    Caldas lunged forward, his sword flashing in the morning sun. His blade found its mark, and the duskling howled in pain as blood spilled from its wound.
    Bolga leaped down from the tower, his cleaver at the ready. He charged towards the remaining duskling archer, and the two clashed in a flurry of blows. Bolga’s cleaver bit deep into the duskling’s shoulder, causing it to stagger back. The duskling archer retaliated by firing a poisoned arrow at Bolga, but the thick layers of his brigandine armor protected him from the worst of the venom.
    The wounded duskling, its eyes full of rage, charged back towards Caldas. But the halfling was ready, and with a quick flick of his wrist, he dispatched the creature with ease.
    Meanwhile, Myrick engaged in a deadly dance with another duskling. The two circled each other, swords flashing in the light. Myrick parried the duskling’s attack, then lunged forward, driving his Heartseeker blade deep into its chest. The duskling fell to the ground with a final, gurgling breath.
    The wounded duskling archer stood alone, bravely refusing to flee. It gripped its bow tightly, ready to fire again.

    Round 4
    Round 5

    Bolga, fueled by adrenaline, charges towards the wounded duskling archer, his heavy cleaver raised high. With a fierce battle cry, he brings down his weapon, his first hit stunning the enemy, who staggers back. But Bolga isn’t one to show mercy, not to an enemy who has caused harm to his comrades. He strikes again, and this time, his hit is true. The duskling archer falls to the ground, his body motionless.
    As the final enemy falls, the warband takes a moment to catch their breath, their eyes scanning the battlefield for any signs of movement. The battle is over, and they have emerged victorious. Caldas sheaths his sword, wiping the sweat off his forehead with the back of his hand.
    “Well fought, friends. We did it,” he says, relief evident in his voice.
    Myrick nods in agreement. “That was a close one. We almost didn’t make it.”
    Gerk approaches Bolga, a look of admiration on his face. “You truly are the Butcher, my friend. That was quite the fight.”
    Bolga grins, his chest heaving as he catches his breath. “I live to fight another day,” he says, before turning to the rest of the warband. “Let’s get out of here before any more of these bastards show up.”
    With that, the warband packs up their gear and heads back towards the road, their steps heavy but their spirits lifted by their hard-won victory.

    Round 5


    We rolled 4 Adventure Points earned for being Victorious against an Enemy Threat, and 2 Adventure Points more for Defeating a Unique Foe. 6 Adventure Points were spent directly on reducing the Duskling Threat by 1, going down to 2.
    Rina was Lightly Injured for 3 Recovery Turns but I spent a Story Point and she was merely Lightly Injured for only 1 Recovery Turn. I don’t know if this was a good call, I just want every single body available until the end of the campaign – plus I still have a dose of silvertree leaf left.

    Temir earned 3 XP, Rina earned 2 XP, while the rest of the warband 2 XP each. Temir advanced to Level 8 earning the Battlewise skill.
    We had 1 Loot roll for achieving the Objective which was a Full Armour which I’ll give to Rina in return for her Partial Armor. Also for Holding the Field we got Unusual Finds which was Art Objects worth 3 Gold Marks.
    On News Events rolled, Caravan will be at Langecliffe for 2 Turns.
    Finally, since Temir reached Level 8, I rolled on the Enemy Plans, there’s a monster summoned by the dusklings. It’s lair is near Langecliffe and it will terrorize the lands and reduce the size of the settlements unless it attacks a Town!

    As the battle comes to an end, the warband assesses their wounds and loot. Rina’s fey-blood proves to be a boon, as her recovery time is significantly shorter than anticipated.
    Gerk opens the wooden box, revealing a full set of mail armor and a collection of art objects. “Looks like we hit the jackpot,” he says with a grin.
    The warband returns to Fey Wall, where they are greeted with news of an upcoming caravan in Langecliffe. “We could use the extra coin,” Temir notes, rubbing his chin thoughtfully.
    But the mood quickly turns serious as they hear about the monster terrorizing the area surrounding Langecliffe. “Summoned by dusklings, you say?” Caldas asks, his eyes narrowing. “We can’t let them get away with this.”
    Bolga grins, twirling his cleaver. “Sounds like our kind of job.”
    Myrick nods, his Heartseeker blade glinting in the sunlight. “Let’s go teach those dusklings a lesson they won’t forget.”

    Session Summary

    What a turn of events! Just as I am nearing the end of the campaign, a monster pops up. And don’t get me wrong, I love to have my warband fighting monsters. There’s also the settlement endangerment if I let it be. On the other hand, if I hunt down the monster, there’s good chance that important warband members might perish and we will lose the victory condition.
    I’ll decide in the next sessions, but I’m leaning towards hunting the aberration down because, well, it’s fun!
    I also didn’t reveal what monster it is, to keep some suspense. Perhaps I’ll do an Adventure Milestone to research it or make some rolls on rumours and reduce the possible options. I’ll think this over too.
    I think the Enemy Plans table of Five Leagues from the Borderlands takes away control from the player in just the right amount! Just what I was looking for at the moment.

  • giorgis 6:09 pm on April 16, 2023 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: 5leagues,   

    In the Aristrax Marches – Ep27 

    Previously in the Aristrax Marches, the Ravens of Gadun attacked and defeated a duskling warband near Fey Wall.

    Turn 43

    I’m back to introducing Events normally, as it gives a nice narrative fluff. The Upkeep was at 1 Gold Mark, and Caldas reduced his healing time by one turn and also visited the healer. Also Gerk will Train and earn 1 XP. On the Trade step we will sell Tapestires, a Shield, a Light Weapon, a Self Bow and a Light Armour for 5 Gold Marks in total.

    The Dancing Nymph inn was a welcome respite for the warband. The air was thick with the scent of roasted meats and the sound of merry drinkers. Bolga quickly made his way to the bar, his big cleaver swinging at his side, while Myrick grabbed a table near the hearth and ordered a mug of ale.
    As they settled in, one of the town elders approached them, a wiry man with a gruff voice. “You lot look like you’ve been through the ringer,” he said, eyeing their worn gear. “I’ve got a tale for you, if you’re interested.”
    The elder told them a story about an ancient battle, where a group of warriors faced off against a powerful necromancer. Bolga listened intently, his eyes glinting with interest.
    As the night wore on, Caldas sought out the town healer, Eira. The elderly woman was kind and gentle, and with the use of Silvertree Leaf, she was able to heal his wounds.
    Meanwhile, Gerk spent time in the inn’s courtyard, practicing his swordplay with a fellow traveler. The clanging of their blades echoed through the night air.
    The next day, the warband gathered to sell off their unused gear and valuables, eager to fund their quest. With some extra coin in their purses, they turned their attention to finding the duskling tribe’s hideout.
    Hours of investigation and research led them to a hidden location deep in the wilderness. The warband prepared themselves, knowing that danger lay ahead.

    For adventuring we are hunting down the Duskling warbands threat. They’re in the same map area as Fey Wall, and are preparing to attack villagers and if we lose they will entrench themselves further. It’s an Winding Path warband of 8 (2 self bows) and a Sergeant. The objective is to Search for Something and the theme is Near a farmhouse. Initially it was Along a river, but I have no river terrain, so I rerolled.

    The warband moves cautiously through the woods, keeping their eyes peeled for any signs of dusklings. After several hours of patrolling, they spot movement near a farmhouse in the distance. They approach quietly and see a group of dusklings preparing to attack the unsuspecting villagers.
    “Looks like we found some trouble,” Temir says, his hand gripping his Heartseeker blade tightly.
    Bolga grins wickedly, “Finally, a chance to spill some blood.”
    Caldas, ever the tactician, urges caution. “Let’s not rush in blindly. We need to assess the situation and plan our attack carefully.”
    As they observe the dusklings from the cover of the trees, they notice a distinct symbol on the warrior’s armor – the twisted serpent of the Winding Path.
    Gerk, recognizing the symbol, mutters, “These dusklings are part of that secretive cult. They worship the Old Gods instead of the Duskling ways. We can’t let them gain a foothold in the Aristrax Marches.”
    The warband debates their next move, but ultimately they agree that they cannot let the dusklings attack the innocent villagers. They prepare to engage the enemy and search the farmhouse for anything that might reveal the cult’s plans.
    With weapons drawn, the warband approaches the farmhouse, ready for battle.

    The Combat

    Round 1

    The air was thick with tension as the warband and the dusklings faced off against each other. The dusklings, with their glowing eyes and twisted forms, exuded an aura of menace that made the hairs on the back of the warband’s necks stand on end.
    Myrick, Temir, and Bolga moved stealthily along the western side of the fence, their weapons at the ready. They kept low, their eyes scanning the area for any sign of movement from the enemy.
    Meanwhile, Caldas leaped over the fence and darted towards the pig sty, his sword at the ready. He knew that the pig sty held something of importance, and he was determined to uncover it.
    Rina and Gerk stayed behind the fence, bow at the ready. She kept a watchful eye on the dusklings, ready to unleash her deadly arrows at a moment’s notice.
    The two sides were like two predators sizing each other up, waiting for the other to make the first move. The tension was palpable, and the slightest sound could trigger a battle that would be fought to the death.
    But for now, both sides remained still, waiting for the right moment to strike. The fate of the farm and its inhabitants hung in the balance, and the warband knew that they had to be careful if they wanted to emerge victorious.

    Round 1
    Round 2

    Myrick, Temir, Caldas, and Rina all curse under their breath as their arrows and sling stones miss their marks. The duskling archers return fire, but their aim is just as poor.
    Bolga charges forward, his cleaver raised high, but he is met with a poison-tipped blade from the duskling warrior. Bolga manages to block the first strike, but the second finds its mark and he collapses to the ground, poisoned.
    Gerk leaps over the fence, his sword at the ready, and strikes the nearest duskling. He manages to wound it with his first strike, but the second is stopped by its armor. Undeterred, he delivers a final blow that finishes off the duskling.
    The warband braces for the next round of battle, knowing that their enemies will not give up easily.

    Round 2
    Round 3

    As the warband fought their way towards the pig sty, the battle intensified. Temir swung his heartseeker blade with precision, but his opponent proved to be just as skilled and evaded his attacks. Boots, on the other hand, showed off his agility as he wounded a duskling with his fencing sword and quickly backed away.
    Meanwhile, the duskling archers continued to rain down arrows on the warband, but their aim was poor. One missed Temir entirely, and another ran out of arrows as it tried to hit Gerk.
    The duskling leader, who had been waiting for an opportunity, attacked Caldas with his poisoned blade. The halfling fell, writhing in pain as the poison coursed through his veins.
    Rina, fighting fiercely with her war spear, managed to take down one of the dusklings attacking her, but another quickly took his place. The two exchanged blows, with Rina ultimately falling under the duskling’s attack.
    Temir found himself surrounded by two dusklings, but he held his own, managing to wound one of them. Meanwhile, Myrick was attacked by another duskling, who landed a blow with his poisoned weapon, bringing the hero down.
    Amidst the chaos, Gerk saw an opening and leapt into the pig sty, determined to find whatever it was that had caught their attention.

    Round 3
    Round 4

    Gerk sifts through the dirt and mud in the pig sty, his keen eyes scanning for anything valuable. Suddenly, he hears the twang of a bowstring, and a sharp pain pierces through his shoulder. He looks up to see a duskling archer perched on the fence, taking aim again. “Damn,” Gerk curses under his breath, scrambling for cover behind a pile of hay.
    As he ducks, another duskling jumps into the pig sty, lunging towards him with its blade. Gerk leaps to his feet and deflects the attack with his sword, then kicks the duskling back, sending it crashing into the mud. “You picked the wrong fight, little one,” he caws, a wicked grin spreading across his beak.
    Meanwhile, Temir is holding his own against the dusklings. He parries a flurry of blows, his heartseeker blade cutting through the duskling’s armor with ease. He dispatches one, then pushes another back, deftly dodging its wild swing. The duskling leader charges at him, but Temir sidesteps the attack, slashing at the leader’s exposed flank. The duskling falls to the ground, lifeless.
    However, the remaining dusklings are determined to take down the skilled warrior. They swarm around him, their blades flashing in the dim light. Temir fights valiantly, but the dusklings are too many. He manages to wound one, but another lands a glancing blow on his shoulder. He staggers back, catching his breath. “Not so fast,” he growls, gripping his blade tightly.
    The air is thick with the stench of blood and sweat, and the sounds of clanging metal and grunts of pain fill the air. The warband is outnumbered, but they fight on, driven by the determination to uncover the truth about the dusklings’ activities.

    Round 4
    Round 5

    The battle rages on as Gerk fights valiantly against the duskling in the pig sty. He delivers a blow to the duskling, but the creature’s pain turns to fury, and it counterattacks, bringing the birdfolk down.
    Temir stands alone against the remaining dusklings, his heartseeker blade at the ready. The duskling archer takes aim and fires, but misses its target as it runs out of arrows. Four dusklings charge at Temir, determined to take down the skilled warrior. But Temir proves to be too much for them, as he kills the first one with a swift blow. The second duskling tries to poison him, but Temir manages to fend off the attack. He kills the third dusking with a powerful thrust of his sword and pushes back the fourth one.
    Seeing an opportunity, Temir charges back at the wounded duskling and finishes it off. He stands alone, surrounded by the corpses of his fallen comrades and enemies. The smell of blood and death fills the air as he catches his breath, preparing for whatever comes next.

    Round 5
    Round 6

    Temir’s heartseeker blade glimmers as he charges towards the last two dusklings. With swift movements, he strikes the first one twice, causing fatal wounds. The duskling falls to the ground, lifeless. Temir turns to face the remaining enemy with a cold glare in his eyes.

    Round 6
    Round 7

    Temir runs forward, his heartseeker blade gleaming in the sunlight. The last remaining duskling turns to face him, its eyes filled with hatred and determination. Temir takes a deep breath, then launches himself forward in a fierce attack. His blade strikes true, and the duskling falls to the ground, lifeless. Temir looks around at the scene of battle, his eyes filled with a mix of triumph and sadness. So many lives lost, so much pain and suffering. But at least they had won this battle. For now.

    Round 7


    We rolled 6 Adventure Points earned for being Victorious against an Enemy Threat, and 1 Adventure Points more for achieving the objective and saving the villagers. 6 Adventure Points were spent directly on reducing the Duskling Threat by 1, going down to 3.
    Bolga was Knocked Out. Caldas was Lightly Injured for 2 Recovery Turns. Rina had her War Spear Damaged. Myrick was Seriously Injured for 5 Recovery Turns but I spent a Story Point and he was merely Knocked Out. Gerk was Knocked Out. Overall no deaths or something that would be a serious setback.

    Temir earned 3 XP, while the rest of the warband only 1 XP each. Gerk advanced to Level 1 earning 1 Will Point.
    We had 1 Loot roll for achieving the Objective which was 2 Congealed Strands. Also for Holding the Field we got Unusual Finds which was a Repair Kit that Rina used to repair her War Spear.
    Finally, on News Events rolled, a halfling rogue adventurer friend gave us a Contract to Locate an Item for 2 Gold Marks and 1 Story Point.

    Bolga slowly regained consciousness, groaning as he tried to sit up. “What in the seven hells happened?” he muttered, rubbing his aching head.
    Caldas winced as he examined the wound on his arm. “Damn, this is going to take forever to heal,” he grumbled.
    Rina inspected her war spear, frowning at the crack near the tip. “This was a good weapon too,” she sighed.
    Myrick groaned as he slowly came to. “Did we… did we win?” he asked weakly.
    Gerk rubbed his sore head and looked around, relief flooding him as he realized they were all alive. “Looks like the poisons weren’t as deadly as we thought,” he said.
    Despite their injuries and damaged weapons, the group couldn’t help but feel a sense of accomplishment. They had fought bravely and survived, proving that they were a force to be reckoned with. But there was still work to be done. They needed to figure out why the dusklings were so determined to control the area around the Fey Wall, and put a stop to it before more lives were lost.
    As the dust settles after the brutal battle, the warband begins to assess the spoils of their victory. Gerk sifts through the pig sty, uncovering evidence of the dusklings’ hidden treasure. He excitedly shares his findings with the others.
    “Look what I’ve found!” he exclaims, holding up a handful of congealed strands. “These will be useful for a Mystic, but with Omac dead, they’re of no use to us.”
    Bolga nods in agreement, “Yes, it’s a shame Omac didn’t make it. He would have appreciated those.”
    Meanwhile, Rina examines the strange sack they found and opens it to reveal a repair kit. “This will be useful,” she says, inspecting her damaged war spear. “I can use this to repair my weapon.”
    Myrick chimes in, “Well, at least we didn’t come out of this empty-handed. We should continue to search for more treasures like this.”
    The group nods in agreement, realizing that the dusklings’ determined presence in the region may be due to their hidden wealth. They set off to explore further, determined to uncover whatever treasures may be waiting for them.
    The warband trudged back to Fey Wall, their weapons still stained with the blood of the dusklings they had just fought. As they approached the gates, they were met by a halfling rogue named Ales Gylley, an old friend of Caldas.
    “Hey, Caldas! I need your help,” Ales said, approaching the halfling. “I’m looking for an item, and I think you guys are just the right people to help me find it.”
    Caldas raised an eyebrow. “What kind of item are we talking about here?”
    “It’s a necklace, studded with rubies,” Ales explained. “It belonged to my grandmother, and it was stolen from her. I need your help to get it back.”
    The warband looked at each other, considering the request. It was a risky venture, but they were no strangers to danger. And besides, they owed Ales a favour.
    The warband exchanged glances, considering Ales’ offer. They were already on a mission, but the promise of a reward for finding the necklace was tempting.
    “How much is it worth to you?” Rina asked, eyeing the halfling warily.
    “A fair amount,” Ales replied with a shrug. “Enough to make it worth your while, I assure you.”
    Bolga snorted. “We’ll need more than your assurances, friend. If we’re going to help you, we need to know what we’re getting into.”
    Ales hesitated, eyeing the group carefully. “Alright, I’ll tell you what I know,” he said finally. “The necklace belonged to my grandmother. It’s a family heirloom, passed down for generations. It’s said to have magical properties, though I can’t attest to that myself.”
    “And where was it last seen?” Temir asked, his voice low.
    Ales shrugged again. “I don’t know for sure, but I’ve heard rumors that it might be in the possession of a group of bandits who operate in the region. They’ve been causing trouble for the locals, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they’ve come across the necklace in their travels.”
    The warband exchanged another look. They were already heading in the general direction of the bandits, so it wouldn’t be too much trouble to keep an eye out for the necklace. And if they found it, well, a little extra coin never hurt.
    “Alright,” Bolga said finally. “We’ll keep an eye out for your necklace, Ales. But don’t expect us to go out of our way for it.”
    Ales nodded eagerly. “Of course, of course. I’m just grateful for any help you can give me.”
    With that settled, the warband set out once again, their thoughts now divided between their original mission and the potential reward for finding Ales’ necklace.
    “We’ll help you find your necklace,” Rina said, speaking up. “But we’ll need more information about where to start looking.”

    Session Summary

    This was a fight that could have been the end of the warband. 5 casualties including both of the original heroes. I felt like I had to spend a story point since I had two to reduce Myrick’s recovery time. There was a 1-in-5 chance that someone would turn dead, but the dice spoke otherwise. The Poison trait of these enemies was very dangerous. Also I had to decide when it applied as there was some rules overlap.
    So a Natural 6 as the Attacker. I interpreted that it happens even if the lost the exchange, but not if they counter-attacked. Nevertheless if they lost the exchange and the hero counter-attacked, both could become casualties. It’s an odd circumstance, but it worked out in the end.
    If all goes according to plan, three more battles are needed to finalize the campaign, win or lose.
    Finally, I still need to get the hang of how ChatGPT handles storytelling. Sometimes it works, sometimes it’s mediocre, sometimes it’s genious, sometimes it’s repetitive, but a lot of the times I need to fine-tune my input and regenerate responses until I get something that fits.

    PS. This whole campaign has been an eye-opening experience to me and how Five Leagues from the Borderlands works as an overarching story experience. It seems that for the experience that I’m after, the player needs to use the available adventuring options to generate a suitable narrative, and not the other way around. My own metagaming objectives (reduce threats to 0) do not help towards this end, but on the other hand they led to a long campaign that helped me identify how everything is supposed to work.
    Five Leagues from the Borderlands is very much like Five Parsecs from Home. It’s best to consider it like a TV show with standalone episodes, some stories arching over two episodes, rarely more, and references made to previous episodes but not necessarily in a linear manner, curves can happen and nemeses re-appear.
    So, despite that as a player you always have a choice of what to do for adventuring, perhaps it’s best that for narrative sake, you present it as something that appears in front of the players. Food for thought for the future.

  • giorgis 10:08 pm on March 28, 2023 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: 5leagues,   

    In The Aristrax Marches – Ep26 

    Previously in the Aristrax Marches, the Ravens of Gadun destroyed the Gnawling hordes threat.

    Turn 42

    The Dancing Nymph inn is bustling with activity as the warband arrives, seeking refuge from the long and exhausting journey. The dimly lit room is filled with the sound of drunken laughter, clinking glasses, and the strumming of a lute. The smell of stale ale and roasted meat wafts through the air, making the group’s stomachs grumble.
    Bolga leads the way, striding confidently through the crowded room. He spots a table in the corner and makes his way over to it, gesturing for the rest of the warband to follow. They slide into their seats, their weapons clanking against the chairs.
    Myrick, the wily rogue, glances around the room, scanning the patrons for any potential threats. Rina, the fey-blooded outsider, sits silently, lost in thought. Temir, the studious apprentice, fidgets with his Heartseeker enchanted blade, lost in thought. Caldas, the halfling, sits apart from the group, his eyes downcast as he contemplates his past misdeeds.
    Bolga breaks the silence, his voice low and commanding. “We’ve done well in the Aristrax Marches, but there’s more to come. The Duskling tribes are still a threat, and we need to be ready for whatever they throw at us.”
    Caldas looks up, his expression troubled. “What about the fact that you’re fighting against your own people, Bolga? How do you reconcile that?”
    Bolga glares at Caldas, his hand gripping the hilt of his cleaver. “I do what’s necessary to protect my people, even if it means fighting against them.”
    Rina speaks up, her voice soft but firm. “We need to be careful, though. The Dusklings won’t be pleased if they hear that one of their own is leading a warband against them.”
    Myrick nods in agreement. “We need to keep a low profile, gather information, and strike at the right moment.”
    Temir chimes in, “We also need to be wary of other factions that may have their own designs on the Aristrax Marches.”
    As the warband discusses their next moves, the innkeeper approaches their table, a tray of drinks in his hands. “Another round, my lords and lady?”
    Bolga nods, his eyes never leaving the warband. “Aye, bring us your strongest ale. We’ll need it for the road ahead.”

    No Town Events were rolled. The Upkeep was at 1 Gold Mark, and we Meet the Locals earning 1 Story Point. Also Rina will Train and earn 1 XP. On the Trade step we will sell Precious Metals, a Shield and a Partial Armour for 8 Gold Marks in total.

    As the warband settles in at the Dancing Nymph inn, Rina excuses herself and heads out to find a secluded area to train with her weapons. The others enjoy the rare opportunity to unwind and socialize with the locals.
    Bolga sits at a corner table, nursing a tankard of ale and surveying the room with a watchful eye. His thoughts drift to the upcoming battles against his own people, the Duskling tribes. He grimaces, wondering how he will reconcile his loyalty to his warband with his sense of duty to his own culture.
    Caldas, feeling the weight of his past mistakes, decides to make amends by offering to pay for a round of drinks for the patrons of the inn. He strikes up a conversation with a group of locals, listening to their stories and exchanging banter.
    Myrick, always on the lookout for opportunities to make a profit, slips away to the marketplace to sell some of the spoils they acquired from their recent battles. He haggles with the merchants, striking a good deal for the brigandine armor, kite shield, and precious metals.
    As the night wears on, the warband eventually reconvenes at their table, swapping stories and laughing at each other’s jokes. For a moment, they forget about the horrors of the Aristrax Marches and the looming threat of the Duskling tribes, enjoying the simple pleasure of camaraderie and relaxation.

    For adventuring we are hunting down the Duskling warbands threat. They’re in the same map area as Fey Wall, and are waiting in ambush – so we can’t attempt to Seize the Initiative – and if we lose they will undermine our progress. It’s an Aspiring War Party of 7 (2 self bows) and a Unique Foe which was rolled to be a Grim Knight whose motivation is that he’s a regular member of the group. The objective is to Secure the Field and the theme is Meadows and Fields. I’d like to have better terrain for this, but I’ll make do with what I already have.

    The warband trudged through the meadows, weary from their travels. Bolga led the group, his keen senses scanning the surrounding area for any signs of danger. Suddenly, the air grew thick with the stench of unwashed bodies and the sound of footsteps on the dry grass. They were ambushed by a group of dusklings, young raiders who were eager to prove their worth in battle.
    Bolga drew his cleaver and charged towards the group. “Stay back, you filthy scum!” he yelled, his voice booming across the meadow.
    Caldas stepped forward, a confident smirk on his face. “Leave this battle area at once, or face the wrath of the Ravens of Gadun!”
    Tunbehrt, the dusklings’ leader, emerged from the shadows, his armor clanking loudly with each step. “We claim this land in the name of the Duskling tribes. You have no right to be here.”
    Rina readied her spear, her eyes narrowed in determination. “You picked the wrong fight, Tunbehrt. We’ll make sure you and your raiders regret crossing us.”
    The young duskling raiders fidgeted nervously, glancing at each other uncertainly. Bolga took advantage of their hesitation and charged forward, swinging his cleaver with deadly precision. The rest of the warband followed suit, their weapons glinting in the sunlight.
    The impending battle was sure to be fierce and bloody, but the Ravens of Gadun were ready to fight.

    The Combat

    ROUND 1

    Bolga and Caldas, the leaders of the warband, close in on the Duskling raiders, weapons drawn and ready for combat. The two Duskling archers take aim at Gerk and Rina, their hatred for the Fey-blooded woman evident in their choice of targets. The arrows fly, but miss their mark as Gerk and Rina dodge and weave out of harm’s way. The rest of the Duskling war party charges forward, closing in on the warband with reckless abandon.
    Temir and Rina quickly draw their bows and shoot back at the raiders, hoping to take them down before they can reach the warband. Temir’s arrow finds its mark, striking one of the Duskling raiders and sending them tumbling to the ground. But none of the raiders show any sign of fear or retreat, and they continue to press forward with their attack.
    The tension in the air is palpable as the two sides close in on each other, weapons at the ready. The battle is about to begin, and the fate of the warband hangs in the balance.

    ROUND 1
    ROUND 2

    Rina curses under her breath as she realizes she has run out of arrows, and she quickly switches to her short sword, prepared to engage in close combat. The duskling archers, seeing their chance, take their last shots at Bolga and Rina, but both miss by a hair’s breadth. Bolga grits his teeth as the Grim Knight charges towards him, swinging his sword with deadly intent. Bolga manages to parry the first blow, but the second one lands, causing him to stumble back. He recovers quickly, however, and counterattacks with a fierce swing that the Grim Knight barely dodges.
    Gerk, meanwhile, is caught off guard by a duskling who jumps over the fence he was using for cover. The duskling slashes at him with a crude blade, and Gerk winces in pain as blood seeps through his tunic. He steps back behind the fence, hoping to find a moment to tend to his wound. A dusking with an arrogant grin on his face, lunges at Myrick, thinking he can easily overpower the small rogue. But Myrick is quick and agile, darting around the duskling and striking him in a vital spot with a sharp blade.
    As another duskling darts towards Rina, Temir moves in to protect her, slashing with his sword and drawing blood. Bolga’s attacks, however, are foiled by the quick movements of the duskling he is facing, and frustration is beginning to set in. Myrick sees an opportunity to strike and lunges at the duskling who wounded Gerk, plunging his blade deep into its chest. The duskling falls to the ground, lifeless.
    Despite their losses, the duskling raiders refuse to flee, their eyes filled with bloodlust and fury. The battle is far from over.

    ROUND 2
    I made a mistake here and it was actually Rina who activated in the beginning, but the entire turn was almost elapsed and therefore I switched Rina's missed shot to Temir, by spending a Story Point. It's only fair, and I should be more careful next time.
    ROUND 3

    As the battle continues to rage on, the warband finds themselves locked in a deadly dance with the duskling raiders. The sound of clashing steel and the cries of the wounded fill the air.
    Temir, his eyes narrowed in focus, moves with lightning speed towards the nearest duskling archer, his Heartseeker blade flashing in the sunlight. In one swift motion, he strikes the duskling down, ending its life with a sickening thud.
    Meanwhile, Bolga faces off against the Grim Knight, their weapons ringing out in a symphony of death. Bolga lands a powerful blow on his opponent, sending the Grim Knight reeling, but the duskling quickly recovers and returns the favor with a fierce counterattack. He kills another duskling that jumps in to assist its leader.
    As the warband fights on, they manage to take down another duskling archer, while Caldas engages in a brutal melee with the other, his small stature belying his deadly proficiency with a blade.
    Myrick, ever the opportunist, takes advantage of the chaos to shoot his longbow, wounding another duskling. But the raiders are determined, and none of them flee, fighting to the bitter end for their tribe and their honor.

    ROUND 3
    ROUND 4

    Bolga and Tunbehrt’s weapons clash together, creating a shower of sparks. Their swords clash again, and both combatants are equally matched. Bolga grunts and puts all his strength into his next attack, but his enemy blocks it with ease. Tunbehrt counterattacks, but Bolga raises his cleaver and parries the blow.
    Meanwhile, Caldas dashes towards a nearby duskling and strikes with his sword. The first hit draws blood, but the second hit is fatal, and the duskling falls to the ground with a thud.
    The wounded duskling attacks Bolga, but the warband leader manages to block its blows. Myrick takes advantage of the opening and shoots an arrow at the duskling. The arrow hits its mark, and the duskling falls to the ground with a pained scream.
    Now only Tunbehrt, the Grim Knight, remains. He stands tall and defiant, his armor dented and bloody. “You’ve done well to make it this far,” he says with a smirk. “But I won’t go down without a fight.”
    Bolga nods, his eyes fixed on his enemy. “I wouldn’t have it any other way,” he replies. The two warriors circle each other, their weapons at the ready.

    ROUND 4
    ROUND 5

    As Bolga and the Grim Knight clash swords again, their weapons ring out like a bell, each strike echoing through the silent battlefield. Bolga’s muscles ache, sweat pouring down his face as he tries to push past the Grim Knight’s guard. The warband leader is determined to end this, to finally put an end to the Grim Knight’s reign of terror.
    The Grim Knight, however, is not easily defeated. His armor glints in the sunlight, a testament to the countless battles it has survived. He sneers at Bolga, contempt clear in his eyes. “You are nothing but a peasant, a nobody. You cannot defeat me.”
    Myrick takes another shot, aiming for the small gaps in the Grim Knight’s armor, but to no avail. The arrow simply bounces off, harmless against the heavily armored foe.
    Temir sees an opening and goes in for a strike, but the Grim Knight’s shield parries his attack. The two warriors lock eyes, a moment of intense focus passing between them before they disengage.
    Bolga takes a deep breath, feeling the weight of his cleaver in his hand. He knows that he cannot give up, that the fate of the warband rests on his shoulders. With a fierce determination, he lunges forward, his cleaver aimed for the Grim Knight’s neck.
    But once again, the Grim Knight is too quick, deflecting Bolga’s attack with ease. The two warriors continue their dance of death, neither gaining the upper hand.
    It seems as if the battle will continue indefinitely, the Grim Knight’s armor and shield seeming impenetrable. The warband begins to feel a sense of despair, the weight of the battle taking its toll. But Bolga is not ready to give up yet. He readies himself for another attack, hoping that this time he will be successful.

    ROUND 5
    Yet another mistake here, Bolga shouldn't have been able to activate in the Quick Phase as I didn't roll a single 2 or less. Thankfully I checked and saw I he has a Will Point which he used. And this was a nice reminder for me to start using our Will Points.
    ROUND 6

    Bolga charges towards the Grim Knight, cleaver in hand, ready to strike. The warband leader puts in all his will to act quickly, trying to take down his enemy before he has a chance to strike back. But it’s a deadlock as the two opponents exchange blows.
    Caldas, seeing Bolga’s struggle, decides to join the fight against the Grim Knight. He puts his will to attack quickly and manages to land a hit on the enemy, but it’s still not enough to bring him down.
    The Grim Knight turns his attention to Caldas, swinging his massive sword with deadly precision. The halfling tries to dodge, but it’s no use. The sword lands on him with full force, and he falls to the ground, incapacitated and bleeding.
    Temir knows that it’s all up to him now. He approaches the Grim Knight, his Heartseeker blade glinting in the dim light. With a swift and precise strike, he pierces the enemy’s armor, finding a gap between the plates. The Grim Knight lets out a final gasp as he falls to the ground, defeated.
    The warband stands victorious, but the cost is high. Bolga rushes to Caldas’ side, trying to stop the bleeding and save his comrade. Myrick looks around, scanning the surroundings for any more enemies, but there are none left. The battle is over, but the warband’s wounds will take time to heal.

    ROUND 6


    We rolled 6 Adventure Points earned for being Victorious against an Enemy Threat, and 2 Adventure Points more for defeating the Unique Foe. 6 Adventure Points were spent directly on reducing the Duskling Threat by 1, going down to 4.
    Caldas was Moderately Injured for 5 Turns, so I used a Silvertree Leaf and he was Lightly Injured for 2 Turns instead.
    Gerk, Bolga, Rina and Myrick earned 2 XP each, while Temir earned 3 XP and Caldas only 1 XP. Rina advanced to Level 1 and earned 1 Combat Skill.
    We had 1 Loot roll for achieving the Objective which was an Old Dusty Manual of Crafting – I’ll see who’ll get it. Also for Holding the Field we got Unusual Finds which was 2 Gold Marks.
    Finally, no News Events were rolled.

    Caldas groans as he inspects his wound, but he knows that he’s lucky to have some Silvertree Leaf on hand. He quickly applies the herb, and the pain subsides as the wound begins to close.
    As the warband takes a moment to catch their breath, Bolga notices a dusty old manual among the scattered loot. “Look what we’ve got here,” he grins, holding it up for the others to see. “A manual of crafting. Maybe we can learn a few new tricks.”
    Myrick steps forward and rummages through the coins, then holds them up to the light. “These are worth 2 Gold Marks,” he says, grinning. “Not bad for a day’s work.”
    Temir nods in agreement. “Let’s not linger here too long,” he says. “We should get moving before any more duskling patrols find us.”

    Session Summary

    Loved the session with the change of enemy types. The rolled enemy was easy, but the Grim Knight proved to be a bit of a challenge. If it wasn’t for the Heartseeker blades I don’t know how easy it would be for me to defeat him without more casualties.
    Also I need to remember to use all the abilities at my disposal (Will Points!) and to do some research to find the Duskling Hideout before I reduce the Threat to 0.

  • giorgis 7:41 pm on March 24, 2023 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: 5leagues,   

    In the Aristrax Marches – Ep25 

    Previously in the Aristrax Marches, the Ravens of Gadun attacked and defeated gnawlings residing in a cavern complex outside of Fey Wall.

    Turn 41

    No Town Events were rolled. The Upkeep was at 3 Gold Mark, and we Helped the Town Guard to offset the cost. Temir reduced his injury to 1 Turn of Recovery, so he Visited the Town Healer at the cost of 1 Gold Mark to be battle-ready.

    The Ravens of Gadun settled into their stay at the Dancing Nymph inn in Fey Wall. Bolga, their leader, made arrangements with the town guard to offset their living costs while they stayed. Caldas was in charge of keeping an eye on their finances, while Temir went to visit the healer to recover from his injury.
    As they sat around the inn’s common room, Bolga spoke up. “So, what do you all think of this little town?”
    Myrick shrugged. “It’s quaint enough. Not much to do here, though.”
    Rina nodded in agreement. “It’s peaceful. A nice change from all the undead and gnawlings we’ve been dealing with.”
    Gerk piped up. “I like it here. The people are friendly, and the food’s not bad either.”
    Caldas nodded, taking a sip from his mug of ale. “I agree. It’s good to be in a place where we don’t have to constantly be on our guard.”
    Temir hobbled in, a bandage around his leg. “I just saw the healer. She says I’ll need a few more days to recover.”
    Bolga frowned. “That’s too bad. We can’t afford to sit around here for too long.”
    Myrick raised an eyebrow. “What’s the rush? We can take a break for a bit. It’s not like we’re in a hurry to get anywhere.”
    Bolga shook his head. “We have a job to do, Myrick. We can’t afford to sit around here and waste time.”
    Rina spoke up. “But Bolga, we’ve been working nonstop for weeks. Don’t you think we deserve a break?”
    Bolga sighed. “I suppose you’re right. We can stay a few more days, but we can’t let our guard down. We still have a job to do.”
    As they settled back into their drinks and conversation, Gerk suddenly sat up. “Hey, did you hear about the ghost in the Haunted Shade?”
    Myrick rolled his eyes. “Not another one of your stories, Gerk.”
    But Gerk was undeterred. “No, I’m serious. I overheard some of the locals talking about it. They say there’s a ghost that appears every full moon.”
    The Ravens of Gadun laughed and joked, enjoying their respite in Fey Wall. They were warriors, but they were also friends, and they knew the importance of taking a break every once in a while.

    For Adventuring we’ll attempt a Hideout Raid to finish with the Gnawling horde once and for all. I rolled that the enemy is 11 Gnawling Warriors led by a Captain, and that the battlefield theme is Ruined Tower. I took some expressive liberty here because I wanted to use my DIY Mordheim-styled ruin. It could have been an old manor or ruined barracks (or both considering how buildings were repurposed according to the needs and occupants). For fluff I added some craters around the building representing perhaps tunnels made by the gnawlings.

    The Ravens of Gadun set out from Fey Wall towards the gnawlings’ hideout, a ruined manor with a network of tunnels dug by the ratmen for better access. As they journeyed through the forest, they kept a watchful eye out for any signs of danger, scanning the trees and undergrowth for any signs of movement.
    As they drew closer to the hideout, the warband slowed their pace and began to move more cautiously. They could hear the gnawlings chittering and scurrying about in the tunnels beneath the ruins, and they knew that they would have to be careful if they wanted to avoid being ambushed.
    Finally, they arrived at the edge of the ruins and surveyed the area. The manor was dilapidated, with large holes in the walls and a collapsed roof. The tunnels dug by the gnawlings were visible all around, and the warband could see the ratmen moving about inside.
    With a sense of determination, the Ravens of Gadun prepared to strike at the heart of the gnawlings’ operation. They knew that they would face tough resistance, but they were ready to do whatever it took to eliminate the ratmen threat once and for all.

    The Combat

    ROUND 0

    Temir and Myrick move stealthily towards the gnawlings, their hearts pounding with adrenaline. As they draw closer, they can hear the sound of chittering and scratching growing louder. Caldas moves in, but his foot hits a loose stone and sends it tumbling down the tunnel, alerting the ratmen to their presence. “Oh, for the love of the Lady!” Caldas curses, his voice echoing through the tunnel. The gnawlings swarm towards them, teeth bared and claws extended. “Looks like we’ll have to do this the hard way,” Myrick grins, unsheathing his Heartseeker blade.

    ROUND 0
    ROUND 1

    Temir and Myrick exchange a quick glance as they continue to advance, their blades at the ready. Bolga moves steadily through the woods, using his knowledge of the terrain to stay out of sight. Suddenly, two crossbow bolts whizz past them, but they remain unscathed behind their cover.
    The ratmen close in, their chittering and squeaking growing louder by the second. Then, their captain emerges from the ruins, his eyes burning with hatred and rage. “You will pay for intruding on our territory!” he screeches.
    Myrick deftly dispatches the two ratmen charging him, while Bolga deflects the attack of another. Caldas charges forward and with a swift move of his sword, kills the Ratman near Bolga.
    Rina takes aim at the Ratman captain and lets loose an arrow, but it bounces off his armor. The captain snarls and points at the warband, shouting orders to his subordinates.
    Two ratmen break away from the group and charge towards the warband, their eyes full of fury and bloodlust. The air is thick with the stench of death and battle cries as the Ravens of Gadun prepare for the next wave of attack.

    ROUND 1
    ROUND 2

    Bolga grinned triumphantly as his cleaver sliced cleanly through the ratman warrior’s neck. Myrick engaged the ratman captain in a fierce duel, managing to wound him but taking a hit in return. Temir circled around and landed the final blow, dropping the captain to the ground.
    Caldas rushed to the north fence, where a Ratman crossbowman was retreating. The halfling swung his sword, but the Ratman dodged and fired a bolt at Caldas, narrowly missing him. Another Ratman fired a crossbow bolt at Temir but missed as well.
    Myrick fought off two more Ratmen with ease, while Caldas managed to wound one of his attackers. Gerk joined the fray and struck down the wounded Ratman. Rina continued to fire arrows at the Ratmen from a safe distance but missed her mark.
    The melee in the centre of the battlefield raged on, with the remaining Ratmen putting up a fierce resistance. The Ravens of Gadun had taken out several of their enemies, but the battle was far from over.

    ROUND 2
    ROUND 3

    The remaining Ratmen flee from the battlefield, leaving only two gnawlings standing. Myrick charges at one of them and swiftly kills it with two quick strikes. Meanwhile, Caldas and Bolga team up against the last Ratman, who puts up a good fight but ultimately falls to their combined efforts.
    The warband is victorious, but the air is heavy with the stench of blood and death. They take a moment to catch their breath and survey the area, making sure there are no other enemies lurking in the shadows.
    “Well fought, my friends,” Bolga says, wiping the sweat from his brow. “We have proven ourselves once again.”
    “Aye, but we must not rest yet,” Temir replies. “There may be more of these vermin hiding nearby.”
    “You’re right,” Rina adds. “We need to search the ruins and tunnels to make sure they haven’t left any surprises for us.”
    With a sense of determination, the Ravens of Gadun begin to search the area, knowing that the battle may be won, but the war is far from over.

    ROUND 3



    We rolled 5 Adventure Points earned for being Victorious against an Enemy Threat, and 1 Adventure Point more for defeating the Captain. 6 Adventure Points were spent directly on reducing the Gnawling Threat by 1, going down to zero, and destroying the threat.
    Caldas, Bolga, Rina and Myrick earned 2 XP each, while Temir earned 3 XP. Myrick advanced to Level 6 and earned 1 Toughness point more.
    Gerk had a Flash of Insight roll, and didn’t earn anything, so I used a Milestone to make Gerk a Hero with the use of 6 Adventure Points.
    We had 1 more Loot roll for achieving the Objective and 1 more Loot roll for destroying a Threat. Also we had 1 additional Unusual Finds roll for achieving the Objective. So we found overall a Partial Armour, Torches (2), a Bag of Tools (3 GM), Precious Metals (6 GM) and Tapestries (1 GM).
    We added 1 Story Point for eliminating the Threat.
    Finally, News Events were rolled that a Virulent Disease has spread in Newhorn.

    As the Ravens of Gadun emerged from the gnawlings’ hideout, they could sense the relief and triumph in the air. The threat of the ratmen had been eliminated, and the horde was scattered. They had fought valiantly and had emerged victorious, but not without casualties.
    As they searched through the hideout, they found a set of brigandine armor that was still in good condition, a couple of torches, and a bounty of valuables – tools, precious metals, and even a beautiful tapestry that would fetch a good price at market.
    With their spoils in tow, the warband made their way back to the hamlet of Fey Wall to rest and recover from their battles. As they settled into the local inn, they recounted their struggles and the foes they had vanquished, but also mourned the loss of their fallen comrades.
    Amidst their revelry, news reached them of a virulent disease that was spreading in the nearby town of Newhorn. The innkeeper warned them to avoid the area for the time being, as the situation was dire and many were falling ill.
    “Best to steer clear of that wretched place,” the innkeeper said with a shudder. “No telling what kind of dark magic or foul curse is causing this sickness.”
    The warband nodded in agreement, grateful for the warning. They knew that they would need to be cautious in their travels, as danger could lurk around every corner in these troubled times.
    As they settled in for the night, the Ravens of Gadun knew that their journey was far from over. They had proven themselves against the gnawlings, but there were always more dangers lurking in the shadows. Nevertheless, they were determined to face whatever came their way, for they were warriors of the realm, and their duty was to protect the innocent and vanquish evil wherever it may reside.

    Current Score

    Warband Integrity: 2/4 original heroes in roster
    Threat Elimination: 2/3 threats destroyed
    Time limit: 41/90 turns elapsed

    Session Summary

    The enemy never stood a chance. There was a small chance that their crossbows could hurt my party, but that was all. I focused on eliminating their leader quickly so that no reinforcements would arrive, and it all ended up within 3 Turns!
    Nevertheless I must say I enjoyed setting up the terrain and providing a visually pleasing table for the (albeit short) story.
    This is another milestone in my campaign at Five Leagues from the Borderlands.
    With four heroes at maxed out Combat Skill, only enemies of +2 pose any danger in combat. With a silvertree leaf and 2 Story Points available, the risk of losing another of the original heroes is too low.
    Yet, the Dusklings which is the last threat to be faced, may pose a danger, as in addition to decent combat skills and a good number of ranged units, all of them have the Counter Attack ability when they’re Wounded.
    This is a milestone in my victory conditions, as I’m closer now to winning this campaign. Fighting threats and clearing the region is a great idea for a regular, long campaign style, and it is really cool, but it has drawn long. I considered changing my victory conditions to do something else, but sitting on it, I think it would be best if I leave these ideas for another, new campaign (e.g. focusing on contracts, monsters and quests, and having threats as a side gig). Perhaps I could connect it to any surviving Ravens of Gadun or even the Wardens of Gahyrst. Also could be an opportunity to try out the tons of additional content that Ivan has released over at his patreon.
    So I’ll stay on course to try and finish this campaign, in victory, or defeat.

  • giorgis 10:32 pm on March 19, 2023 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: 5leagues,   

    In the Aristrax Marches – Ep24 

    Previously in the Aristrax Marches, a crippling blow was dealt to the Ravens of Gadun. While hunting gnawlings outside of Langecliffe, under the spell of the ratman shaman known as Skrizzik the Apostate, Caldas attacked and killed Omac Gadun, their leader. Despite the loss, the Ravens were victorious. In the end they decided to keep on going with Bolga as their leader. Caldas will try to atone for his actions as part of the warband.

    Turn 39

    Gamble Craze was rolled in Town Events. The Upkeep was at 1 Gold Mark, and Bolga Recruited a follower successfully.
    I rolled between the unused Origins, and I resolved that the new Follower would be a Preen.
    We also repaired a damaged helmet, bought a silvertree leaf portion and sold two bastard swords.

    The Ravens of Gadun arrived in the bustling town of Langecliffe. As they walked through the streets, they noticed that almost everyone was engrossed in some sort of gambling game, with cards and dice being the most popular. Bolga, the leader of the warband, shook his head disapprovingly. “We didn’t come here to throw our hard-earned coins away on games of chance. We have business to attend to.” The rest of the group nodded in agreement.
    As they walked towards the marketplace, they realized that they were one member short. “We need to find someone to cover the missing slot,” said Myrick, the wily rogue of the group. “I heard there’s a Preen warrior in town. We could ask him to join us.” The others nodded in agreement, and they set off to find the Preen.
    After some asking around, they finally found Gerk, a burly Preen with sharp talons and a gruff demeanor. “What do you want?” he asked, eyeing the warband warily. Bolga explained their situation, and Gerk seemed intrigued. “I’ll join you, but only if I get a fair share of the loot,” he said, holding out his hand for a handshake. The group agreed, and Gerk joined their ranks.
    While Gerk was finalizing his preparations, Temir decided to visit the local blacksmith to get his helmet repaired. “It took a bit of a beating on our last mission,” he explained to the blacksmith, who nodded and got to work. “Should be ready by tomorrow,” he said.
    Meanwhile, Myrick and Rina decided to stock up on some healing herbs known as Silvertree Leaf, which were said to be very effective in treating wounds. They also sold two damaged Bastard Swords they no longer needed to a weapons merchant for a fair price.
    With their preparations complete, the warband set off towards their next destination, Fey Wall. The journey was mostly uneventful, except for a location of interest they noted along the way. “We could check it out,” suggested Caldas, but Bolga shook his head. “We have a mission to complete. We can’t afford any distractions.”
    And with that, they continued on their way, ready for whatever lay ahead.

    For adventuring I decide to head back to Fey Wall to bring the supplies and also to be near the ratmen hideout.

    As the Ravens of Gadun travel along their route, they notice a small hill in the distance, surrounded by a dense forest of tall trees. The hill stands out from the surrounding landscape with its barren and rocky terrain, and a solitary structure can be seen perched on top of it. From this distance, it’s hard to make out the details of the building, but it appears to be a tower of some kind, with several floors rising high above the treetops. The tower seems to be in a state of disrepair, with cracks and holes visible on its walls. The surrounding forest is dark and foreboding, with twisted branches and vines obscuring the path that leads up to the hill. The whole area feels eerily quiet, with only the sound of rustling leaves and distant bird calls breaking the silence. The Ravens consider investigating the tower but decide against it, not wanting to risk getting sidetracked from their mission to Fey Wall.

    No News Events were rolled, and the campaign turn finished.

    Turn 40

    No Town Events were rolled. Getting the supplies to Fey Wall gave us no Upkeep Costs and an extra 2 Adventure Points.
    For Campaign Activities we Meet the Locals and got A Brief Chat and also we repaired a War Spear which cost us 3 Gold Marks.

    As the Ravens of Gadun approached Fey Wall, the hamlet came into view, a small cluster of thatched-roof cottages with smoke curling from chimneys. The group made their way to the market square, where they found vendors selling fresh produce, livestock, and various goods.
    As they unloaded their supplies, the locals came over to greet them, intrigued by the unfamiliar faces. Bolga, the leader of the warband, stepped forward to introduce themselves, and the villagers eagerly welcomed them, expressing their gratitude for the much-needed supplies.
    While some of the warband members tended to their horses and secured the goods, others made their way to the local blacksmith to repair the damaged war spear. Myrick, the wily rogue, struck up a conversation with the blacksmith, swapping stories about their travels and the dangers of the road.
    As they finished their business, the group had a brief chat with the locals, learning about the hamlet’s history and the recent threats from nearby bandits. The Ravens of Gadun offered their services, promising to keep the hamlet safe during their travels.
    With their tasks completed, the warband left Fey Wall, satisfied with their work and the new friendships they had made.

    We’re against the gnawling threat. They’re in the same map area as Fey Wall, so no travel is required. They’re currently hunting the warband, and if we fail, they’ll establish a larger presence. It’s 8 Ascended and their Sergeant.
    We’re facing them in a Cave Complex and we have to Fetch Something, as told to us by an interested party. They will pay 1 Gold Mark for a small box with a secret compartment.

    As the warband journeyed towards Fey Wall, they were stopped by a hooded figure on the road. The stranger introduced himself as Harlow, a local merchant with an interest in the ratmen’s activities in the area. He offered the Ravens of Gadun a deal: he would pay them one gold mark if they could bring him a small box with a secret compartment that he believed the ratmen possessed. “It’s important that I get that box,” Harlow said cryptically, “and I don’t have the skills to retrieve it myself.”
    The warband accepted the offer, and Harlow gave them directions to the cave complex where the gnawlings were hiding. “Be careful,” he warned. “These gnawlings are different from the others. They’re the Ascended, and they’re much more dangerous than your average ratman.”
    As they approached the cave, the Ravens of Gadun could hear the screeching of the gnawlings echoing from within. The cave entrance was guarded by two gnawlings armed with rusty spears. The gnawlings had ragged fur and red, beady eyes that glinted with malice.
    Inside the cave, the warband could see the gnawlings gathered around a small fire, their weapons gleaming in the dim light. The sergeant, a larger and more imposing gnawling, stood in front of the group, barking orders. The warband could see that their weapons were dipped in a sickly green poison.
    As they prepared for the battle, Bolga addressed his companions. “Remember, these gnawlings are not to be underestimated. They’re experimenting with magic to break their curse. Stay sharp and focused.”
    With their weapons at the ready, the Ravens of Gadun charged into the fray.

    The Combat

    We failed to Seize the Initiative.

    ROUND 1

    The warband carefully moves forward, each member scanning the dimly lit cave for any signs of the enemy. As they approach the center of the complex, they spot the small box with a secret compartment sitting on a flat rock. Bolga nods to Gerk and Caldas, indicating that they should go for it.
    Gerk nods, gripping his short sword tightly, and Caldas readies his sling. As they advance, Rina takes up position to provide cover with her bow. Suddenly, one of the gnawlings starts chanting a spell, and Rina fires an arrow in response, but it misses the mark.
    The tension in the air is palpable as the two sides inch closer to each other. The warband members exchange glances, silently communicating their readiness for the fight ahead. Bolga gestures to Temir and Myrick, indicating that they should take up positions on either side of the cave, ready to strike.
    As Gerk and Caldas approach the rock, they can hear the gnawlings’ whispers growing louder. The ratmen are closing in, weapons drawn and poisoned, their eyes fixed on the warband.

    ROUND 1
    ROUND 2

    The cave echoes with the sounds of battle as the two sides clash. Caldas rushes towards the flat rock, his eyes fixed on the small box with a secret compartment. Suddenly, an energy bolt slams into him, knocking him back several feet. He crashes into a nearby stalagmite, gasping in pain as he clutches his wound.
    Gerk charges forward, his short sword gleaming in the dim light. But he’s intercepted by the ratmen leader, who lunges at him with a jagged blade. Gerk raises his sword to block, but the force of the blow sends him stumbling back. He narrowly avoids a second strike, but the third lands solidly on his leather armor.
    Rina, perched on a small ledge, takes aim at the approaching ratmen. She fires an arrow, but it misses its mark, thudding harmlessly into the ground. The enemy, meanwhile, takes cover behind the stalagmites, making it difficult for Rina to land a hit.
    Temir charges into battle, but is quickly overwhelmed by a gnawling. The enemy slashes at him with a poisoned blade, and Temir staggers back, his strength quickly draining away.
    Myrick and Bolga rush to help their comrades, striking out at the ratmen with their weapons. But their blows fail to find their mark, and the gnawlings fight back fiercely, determined to protect their prize.
    The battle rages on, with neither side gaining the upper hand. The air is thick with the sounds of clashing blades, grunts of pain, and the occasional curse or battle cry.

    ROUND 2
    ROUND 3

    As Caldas battles the ratmen leader, he swings his fencing sword with quick, precise movements. The leader blocks the first few strikes, but Caldas quickly changes his attack pattern and lands two solid blows on the leader’s torso. The gnawling leader falls to the ground, mortally wounded.
    Meanwhile, another ascended gnawling casts an energy bolt at Bolga, who is caught off guard and is sent flying backwards in the cave, injured. The ratmen close in on Caldas and Gerk, but the two warriors are not intimidated. Caldas lunges forward, piercing one of the ratmen’s armor with his sword and wounding him. Gerk, despite being outnumbered, swings his short sword in a flurry of movements, pushing back the two gnawlings that attack him.
    Myrick engages in a fierce battle with two gnawlings, wielding his Heart seeker blade with precision. He dodges their attacks and counterattacks, killing one of them with a swift strike. He charges at the other gnawling and with two more well-placed attacks, he slays him.
    As the battle rages on, Rina takes aim at the gnawlings around Caldas, but her arrow misses its mark, flying off into the cave walls. Gerk finds an opening and rushes towards the box, determined to retrieve it.
    One of the gnawlings, seeing the tide of battle turning against them, decides to flee, followed closely by another ratman. However, one gnawling, furious at the loss of his comrades, charges towards Myrick, determined to take him down.

    ROUND 3
    ROUND 4

    The cave is filled with the sounds of clanging metal and grunting combatants. Myrick and Caldas stand back-to-back, fending off the gnawlings that surround them. Caldas winces in pain from his wound, but his determination fuels his fighting spirit. He deflects the gnawling’s attack with his fencing sword, then counterattacks with a swift strike that misses its mark.
    Myrick swings his Heart Seeker blade in a wide arc, cutting down one of the gnawlings that rushes towards him. He dodges the next attack and lands a powerful blow that slices through the enemy’s leather armor.
    Bolga and his opponent continue their brutal dance, neither gaining the upper hand. Bolga grunts in frustration as he swings his cleaver, only to be blocked by the gnawling’s rusty shortsword.
    Gerk clutches the small box in his hand, a bead of sweat trickling down his forehead. He looks around, taking in the chaos of the fight, then makes his way towards his companions.
    Rina sidles behind a stalagmite, trying to get a clear shot at the gnawlings. She notches an arrow and takes aim, but the enemy combatants move too quickly for her to get a clean shot.
    The remaining gnawlings snarl and bear their teeth, refusing to back down. They circle their opponents warily, waiting for an opening to strike.

    ROUND 4
    ROUND 5

    Caldas lay on the ground, gasping for air, as the last ratman closed in on him. His fencing sword felt heavy in his hand, and he struggled to keep it steady as he tried to fend off the enemy’s blows. The ratman was relentless, and despite Caldas managing to parry the first strike, the second blow landed hard on his chest, knocking the air out of him.
    As Caldas fell to the ground, his vision started to fade, and he heard the sound of battle raging around him. He could hear the clash of swords, the grunts of his comrades as they fought for their lives, and the gnawling’s excited chatter as they closed in on their prey.
    Rina had been watching the battle unfold, searching for the right moment to strike. She had positioned herself among the stalagmites, trying to find an opening in the gnawling’s defenses. As the last ratman closed in on Caldas, she saw her chance. With a swift movement, she drew an arrow from her quiver, and with a practiced hand, she aimed at the gnawling’s head.
    The arrow flew true, hitting its mark with deadly precision. The ratman fell to the ground, lifeless, as Rina let out a sigh of relief. The battle was over, but the cost had been high. Caldas lay motionless on the ground, and Rina rushed to his side, hoping he was still alive.

    ROUND 5


    We rolled 6 Adventure Points earned for being Victorious against an Enemy Threat. 6 Adventure Points were spent directly on reducing the Gnawling Threat by 1, going down to the last 1.
    On the injury rolls, Temir is lightly injured with 2 Turns Recovery. Caleas was only Knocked Out.
    Caldas, Bolga, and Myrick earned 2 XP each, while Temir only 1 XP.
    Rina earned the Pathwise skill on the Flash of Insight roll, and Gerk earned Scholar. Furthermore I used a Milestone to make Rina a Hero with the use of 6 Adventure Points.
    Our Loot roll was a Light Armour and Shield, and the Unusual Find was Evidence of a Plot.
    This can begin a new Quest in a Random Area (Hightower) and we’ll have to Decipher Ancient Writing.
    Finally, no News Events were rolled.

    Caldas groaned as he regained consciousness, rubbing his head where he had been struck. “What happened?” he asked groggily.
    “You were knocked out,” Gerk replied. “But it looks like you’ll be okay. Temir got hurt though.”
    Temir winced as he flexed his arm. “It’s just a scratch,” he said. “I’ll need some rest, but I’ll be fine.”
    As the warband searched through the complex, they found a set of armor and a shield. “This will come in handy,” Bolga said, examining the armor.
    Myrick nodded in agreement. “And the shield will offer some extra protection.”
    But their attention was drawn to something else they found – a letter, half-buried in the mud. It was difficult to read, but they could make out enough to know that it contained important information.
    “This could be the break we need,” Rina said, holding up the letter. “We need to go to Hightower and decipher the ancient writing there.”
    “But first, we should return to Fey Wall,” Gerk said. “We need to rest and regroup before we take on the Gnawling horde.”
    The others nodded in agreement, and they set out for the Dancing Nymph inn. They knew the road ahead would be dangerous, but they were determined to see their mission through to the end.

    Session Summary

    I’m so close to eliminating yet another threat, that I want to jump in the hideout combat right away! From then on it’s going to be only the Duskling Threat remaining. I think that Five Leagues from the Borderlands has a curious balance. It maintains a constant risk of danger. A fight maybe a walk in the park, but a misstep may easily cause a casualty. Each casualty has a good chance of a character dying.
    There was a moment where I was afraid I’d not achieve the objective, and also when Temir got dropped, I was afraid that the ratmen spellcasting could lead to yet another TPK, but thankfully, we managed to hold the field and achieve the objective in the end.

  • giorgis 12:37 am on March 10, 2023 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: 5leagues,   

    In The Aristrax Marches – Ep23 

    Previously in the Aristrax Marches, the Ravens of Gadun hunted down and destroyed a gnawling force near Fey Wall.

    Turn 37

    No Town Events were rolled. The Upkeep was at 2 Gold Marks, and Bolga reduced his recovery time by 1 Turn. Bolga visited the town healer, and Omac Recruited a follower successfully.
    I rolled between the unused Origins, and I resolved that the new Follower would be a Fey-blooded. I asked ChatGPT to provide me with some character, and I was not disappointed.

    After the battle with the ratmen, the warband made their way back to Fey Wall and entered the familiar doors of The Dancing Nymph inn. As they walked in, the air was thick with the sounds of laughter, clinking glasses, and the smell of good food.
    Bolga made his way over to the healer’s corner and settled in for some much-needed rest and recovery. The healer tended to his wounds with gentle care, cleaning and dressing them before applying a soothing balm. Within a few days, Bolga was back on his feet, his strength restored.
    Meanwhile, Omac had a different task at hand. He was determined to recruit a new follower to join their ranks and help them in their next adventure. He made a public announcement in the inn, declaring that he was in need of a new warrior to join their band.
    The announcement caught the attention of a fey-blooded outsider woman who had been passing through Fey Wall. She had been looking for an opportunity to prove her worth in battle and Omac‘s call was just what she had been waiting for.
    She introduced herself as Rina and Omac was impressed by her confidence and determination. They spoke at length about their previous battles and Omac explained what they were looking for in a new member of the warband. Rina proved herself to be a skilled warrior, and Omac knew that she would be a valuable addition to their team.
    And so, Rina joined The Ravens of Gadun, taking up arms alongside Omac, Caldas, Temir, Bolga, and Myrick. They spent a few more days in The Dancing Nymph, strategizing their next move and getting to know their new member before setting off on their next adventure together.

    I equipped Rina with a Partial Armour, a Fine Self Bow and (Bolga’s) Quick Dagger (Light Weapon).
    For adventuring we’ll continue to hunt the Gnawling Horde threat. This time, they’ve been located in Langecliffe, they’re passing through, and trying to establish a larger presence in the region.
    We have to Travel to Langecliff, but we’re stopped due to Miserable Weather and have to Camp. No News Events were rolled.

    The warband had been traveling for several days, determined to find and eliminate the gnawling horde forces that threatened the region. However, they were hindered by the miserable weather, with heavy rain and strong winds making travel difficult. As they trudged along the muddy path, Omac Gadun called a halt to their march.
    “We can’t continue like this,” Omac declared, his voice barely audible over the sound of the rain. “The weather is too severe, and we won’t reach Langecliffe before nightfall.”
    “What should we do then?” Bolga asked, his hand resting on the hilt of his sword.
    “We’ll have to make camp here and wait for the storm to pass,” Omac replied. “We’ll continue our pursuit in the morning.”
    The group quickly set about setting up their camp. Myrick lit a fire while Rina helped Caldas with the tent. Bolga and Omac took watch, scanning the surrounding area for any signs of danger.
    “I hate this weather,” Myrick grumbled, huddled close to the fire. “My boots are soaked through, and my clothes are damp.”
    “We’re all in the same boat,” Rina replied, crouching next to him. “But at least we’re out of the rain.”
    Bolga, on watch, suddenly stiffened. “There’s something out there,” he hissed, drawing his sword. “Get ready for trouble.”
    The rest of the warband sprang to action, weapons at the ready. But the noise that Bolga had heard turned out to be nothing more than a stray animal, and they were able to relax again.
    “This is going to be a long night,” Omac muttered, settling in for his watch.
    As the night wore on, the rain eventually began to ease off. The warband huddled close to the fire, sharing stories and jokes to keep their spirits up.
    “I heard that there’s a dragon lurking in the nearby mountains,” Caldas said, his eyes shining in the flickering light of the fire.
    “I don’t believe it,” Myrick scoffed. “We’ve been through those mountains before, and there was nothing but rocks and snow.”
    “Well, I heard it from a reliable source,” Caldas insisted. “A farmer in the last village we passed through told me.”
    “I hope you’re right,” Rina said, a hint of excitement in her voice. “I’ve always wanted to see a dragon.”
    As the night wore on, the warband settled in for some much-needed rest. They knew that they had a tough journey ahead of them, but they were ready to face whatever lay ahead.

    Turn 38

    No Camp Events were rolled. The Upkeep was at 3 Gold Marks, so I decided that we should just eat one of our Rations. Caldas failed his Forage for Herbs attempt, but Bolga was successful in Hunting Expedition and returned with 4 Rations!.

    As the warband woke up and broke camp, they quickly noticed that the weather had improved significantly. The sun was shining, and the birds were chirping, a welcome change from the previous day’s rain and gloom. Omac, the leader of the Ravens of Gadun, gathered the group together to discuss their plans for the day.
    “All right, everyone,” Omac said, “since we didn’t reach Langecliffe yesterday, we’ll have to try again today. But before we set off, we should make the most of our time here. Caldas, why don’t you go foraging? Maybe you’ll have better luck today.”
    Caldas nodded in agreement, shouldered his backpack and set off in search of edible plants and berries. Bolga, on the other hand, decided to go hunting. He took his bow and arrows and disappeared into the nearby woods, promising to return with fresh game.
    As Caldas returned empty-handed, he joined Omac and Rina, who were preparing the campsite for their return.
    “Well, that was a waste of time,” Caldas grumbled. “I didn’t find anything. This land is barren.”
    “It’s not barren, you just have to know where to look,” Rina said with a smile. “Maybe I can teach you some tricks later.”
    As they were talking, Bolga returned to the campsite with a large deer slung over his shoulders. “Look what I got!” he exclaimed, grinning from ear to ear.
    “Great job, Bolga,” Omac said, patting him on the back. “We’ll have plenty of meat for tonight’s dinner. And with any luck, we’ll make it to Langecliffe before nightfall.”
    The warband spent the rest of the day preparing the deer for dinner, gathering firewood, and resting up for the journey ahead. As they sat around the campfire, they chatted and joked, enjoying each other’s company.
    “Hey, Bolga,” Myrick said, “how did you manage to take down such a big deer with just one shot?”
    “It’s all about technique,” Bolga replied with a grin. “And a little bit of luck, of course.”
    “Well, I hope you can teach me that technique,” Myrick said with a chuckle. “I could use some pointers.”
    The rest of the evening passed in a similar fashion, with the warband enjoying their meal and each other’s company. As they settled down to sleep, they knew that they would have to set off early in the morning if they hoped to catch up with the gnawling horde forces.

    Our Travel this time was Uneventful so we set up for battle.
    We’re facing 6 Curse Bound led by a Scheming Heretic, who’s motivation is that they’re a regular member of the group so I deem that it’s a Gnawling Shaman. Used ChatGPT for some backstory here as well.
    The battle takes place Near a Farmhouse and we have to Secure the Area.
    The enemy fights with an Unknown Enemy Marker due to the Passing through threat roll.

    The warband set off from their campsite, with Omac leading the way. The journey was uneventful, with only the occasional gust of wind disturbing their progress. The scenery was bland, with fields of grain and fruit orchards stretching out in every direction. The only sign of life was the occasional farmhouse, and even those were few and far between.
    As they approached the location where the gnawlings were sighted, the group grew more cautious, their weapons at the ready. Myrick crept ahead, scouting the area for any signs of danger. After a few minutes, he returned, reporting that he had spotted six gnawlings and a ratman shaman near a farmhouse.
    Omac gathered the group together and whispered, “Alright, team, we need to take these gnawlings down. Let’s show them what we’re made of.”
    Bolga nodded and said, “I’ll take care of the shaman. You guys handle the gnawlings.”
    Caldas added, “I’ll try to keep their attention away from Bolga so he can focus on the shaman.”
    Rina chimed in, “And I’ll use my bow to take down any gnawlings that get too close to us.”
    Myrick grinned and said, “And I’ll do what I do best, flank and attack from behind.”
    With their plan set, the warband advanced towards the gnawlings, ready to engage in battle.


    We failed to seize Initiative

    ROUND 1

    As the warband approached the enemy, they failed to take them by surprise and were spotted. The two opposing forces closed in on each other, preparing for the imminent clash. The warband, in a strategic move, divided themselves into two groups, with Omac, Bolga, and Caldas forming one, and Temir, Myrick, and Rina forming the other. The ratmen were also split into three groups, with two of them positioned on one edge, a single ratman accompanied by Skrizzik in the center, and an unspecified number on the opposite edge.
    Skrizzik, the shrewd and cunning ratman shaman, attempted to cast a charm spell on Caldas, but the halfling resisted it with all his might. Meanwhile, Temir, Myrick, and Rina tried to take down the central group of ratmen by firing arrows from their bows. Unfortunately, their aim was off, and the ratmen quickly found cover behind the farmhouse posts and tables, avoiding the rain of arrows.

    ROUND 1
    ROUND 2

    As Bolga swiftly dispatched one of the ratmen with his blade, Caldas tried his luck with his sling, but the projectile missed its target. The remaining ratman lunged towards Bolga, but the Duskling’s deft movements allowed him to deliver a wound to the ratman.
    As the warband fought, their attention was drawn to the presence of gnawlings on the battlefield, and they noticed five of them approaching the centre where Skrizzik and the other ratman stood. Skrizzik, seeing an opportunity, attempted to charm Caldas once again, and this time he succeeded, causing the Halfling to turn on his own leader. Omac fought defensively, but Caldas’ skills with the sword were superior, and he landed two blows, bringing Omac down.
    The rest of the warband, Myrick, Rina, and Temir, continued their ranged assault on the ratmen but to no avail, and Rina’s arrows ran out. The ratman closest to the warband, seething with anger at the loss of his comrade, charged forward, ready to engage in battle.

    ROUND 2
    ROUND 3

    Bolga’s eyes widen as he spots Skrizzik controlling Caldas and decides to take him down. He charges towards the shaman, deftly avoiding the ratmen and trees blocking his path. With two powerful swings of his cleaver, Skrizzik lies lifeless on the ground.
    As Bolga turns to face his next challenge, he finds himself surrounded by five gnawlings. Bolga fights ferociously, killing two and wounding two more, but struggles to keep them at bay.
    Meanwhile, Rina defends herself against a charging ratman at the farmhouse fence, but the creature’s strikes find their mark, and Rina falls to the ground. Temir swiftly intervenes, taking the ratman by surprise with his Heartseeker magic sword, and dispatches him with ease.
    With their leader and three of their own down, one ratman retreats while the other charges towards Bolga, inching closer with every passing moment. The battle is nearing its end.

    ROUND 3
    ROUND 4

    Bolga, valiantly, made a bold move to attack one of the three remaining ratmen. With his weapon at the ready, he struck the ratman with a deadly blow, which took him down in a single strike. However, the other two ratmen were not so easily defeated, and they responded with a fierce counterattack. Despite Bolga’s best efforts to fend off their attacks, one of the ratmen managed to land a powerful hit that left him unable to fight.
    Caldas, determined to help his comrade, charged towards the remaining enemies, but found himself blocked by the determined gnawlings. In the face of this unexpected resistance, he was unable to press forward.
    Suddenly, one of the last two ratmen turned and ran away in fear, leaving his companion to face the warband alone. The remaining ratman, undeterred, stood his ground and continued the fight, his beady eyes darting back and forth as he searched for a weakness in his enemies.

    ROUND 4
    ROUND 5

    Caldas stands alone against the last remaining ratman, his slender sword held high with unyielding determination. The warband members, Temir and Myrick, are still some distance away, unable to intervene. Caldas moves with fluid grace, his sword dancing through the air as he lands precise thrusts on the ratman’s body. The ratman tries to retaliate, but Caldas is too swift and nimble, and dodges the attacks effortlessly. With a final thrust, Caldas plunges his sword into the ratman’s chest, bringing him down with a screech of pain. The battlefield falls silent, save for the heavy breathing of the warband members, and the rustle of leaves in the wind. The warband has emerged victorious, though the price of
    their triumph has been high.

    ROUND 5


    We rolled 4 Adventure Points earned for being Victorious against an Enemy Threat . Also 1 Adventure Point more for Defeating a Unique Foe. 6 Adventure Points were spent directly on reducing the Gnawling Threat by 1, going down to 2.
    On the injury rolls, Omac is dead. I have no other Story Points or Silvertree Leaf the result has to stand, and downed by his own companion, that sucks. Bolga and Rina despite suffering a Gruesome injury were both only Knocked Out.
    Caldas, Bolga, Myrick and Temir earned 2 XP each.
    Our Loot roll was a Fine Longbow, and the Unusual Find was two Battered Weapons, a damaged War Spear and a damaged Bastard Sword.
    Finally, News Events that Fey Wall is in need of supplies were rolled.

    The warband looked around at the aftermath of the battle, taking in the sight of the defeated ratmen and their fallen comrades. The survivors quickly set to work, tending to the wounded and searching the battlefield for any useful loot. But as they worked, their thoughts lingered on their fallen leader, Omac Gadun.
    Bolga and Rina had been fortunate, having only been knocked unconscious during the fight, but Omac’s wounds were too severe. The Beard had fought bravely until the very end, but in the end, it was Caldas’ betrayal that proved to be his undoing.
    The warband was stunned and heartbroken. Omac had been a strong and wise leader, and his loss would be felt deeply by all of them. Myrick and Temir tried to comfort their comrades, but their words fell on deaf ears. The warband was grieving, and there was little that could be done to ease their pain.
    As for Caldas, the halfling felt a heavy weight on his conscience. He had acted under Skrizzik’s spell, but that was no excuse for what he had done. He felt ashamed and guilty for his actions, and he knew that he would carry that burden with him for the rest of his life.
    The warband was conflicted in their feelings towards Caldas. Some were angry and wanted to seek vengeance, while others were more forgiving and saw that Caldas had been under the influence of the shaman. In the end, the warband agreed that Caldas would have to earn their trust back. It wouldn’t be easy, but with time and effort, he could redeem himself in their eyes.
    As for Caldas himself, he knew that he had a long road ahead of him. He would have to work hard to regain the trust of his comrades, and he would have to live with the guilt of what he had done. But he was determined to make amends and prove himself worthy of their respect once again.

    With the death of Omac Gadun, the Ravens of Gadun were left without a leader. The warband was devastated by the loss of their leader, but they knew they could not stay and mourn forever. They gathered their belongings, tended to their wounds, and set out to continue their mission.
    The warband was filled with mixed emotions about their fallen leader. They were angry at Caldas for his role in Omac’s death, but they also knew that Skrizzik had been the one controlling him. Some members felt that Caldas should be punished, while others believed that he was a victim of Skrizzik’s manipulation.
    As they journeyed on, the warband became more focused and determined. They knew that they had to continue on and finish their mission, in honor of Omac’s memory. They also knew that they needed a new leader to guide them.
    After much discussion, the warband decided to appoint Bolga as their new leader. Bolga was a skilled fighter and a trusted member of the group. While some members had reservations about his leadership style, they ultimately agreed that he was the best candidate to lead them forward.
    The warband continued on, but with a new sense of purpose. They knew that they had to be more careful and strategic without their former leader, but they were also determined to succeed in their mission. They kept the name Ravens of Gadun, in honor of their fallen leader, but they added a new symbol to their banner: a black raven in flight, symbolizing their determination to continue on despite the loss they had suffered.
    As for Caldas, he was wracked with guilt over what had happened. He knew that he had caused the death of his friend and leader, and he struggled to come to terms with his role in the tragedy. The warband was divided on what to do with him, but in the end, they decided to let him stay with the group, with the understanding that he would have to work hard to earn their trust back. Caldas accepted this, knowing that he would have to live with the weight of his actions for the rest of his life.
    After the Ravens of Gadun had gathered their spoils from the battlefield and tended to their wounded, they set out towards the town of Langecliffe to rest and recover. As they made their way, word reached them of a nearby settlement called Fey Wall that was in dire need of supplies.
    Bolga, the Butcher, looked to his companions and they all nodded in agreement. They knew the importance of helping those in need, especially in these troubled times. They discussed their plans and decided that after they rested in Langecliffe, they would make their way to Fey Wall and offer their assistance.
    Despite their weariness from the recent battle, the Ravens of Gadun felt a renewed sense of purpose. They were determined to aid Fey Wall and make a difference in the lives of the people there. As they continued on their journey, they couldn’t help but wonder what challenges they might face along the way, but they knew that they were prepared for whatever lay ahead.

    Session Summary

    I did not see that coming. When I first read the scheming heretic’s abilities I didn’t pay the required attention, and the worst possible result came to be.
    I lost my avatar, and leader. I was frustrated, and did not know if I should continue the campaign. It felt to me as if a core component of the warband was missing and that without it they’d never be the same. Also it felt to me that Caldas would be so striken with guilt that he’d leave to atone for his actions and maybe take the fight elsewhere. I seriously cannot fathom how they could go on in this turn of events. On the other hand, from a ‘playing the game’ perspective this was not in my Victory & Defeat conditions, and it wouldn’t feel right to abandon the game after so much trouble, because of a condition that I hadn’t accounted for.
    Therefore I decided to ask the AI what would happen next, and it provided me with the plausible narrative above, so I’ll stick with it. The Ravens of Gadun will go on, with Bolga as their leader, Caldas in the sidelines carrying the guilt, and they’ll continue their fight, and aim to free the Aristrax Marches from the Gnawling Horde threat.
    I just have some concerns if Bolga will go after the Duskling tribes with the same passion that Omac would have done, or if he’ll have to avoid it altogther. But that’s a question for another day.
    Now back to the AI of ChatGPT. That’s a huge topic altogether. As a solo player I find that it’s a great tool. I wouldn’t have it take the decisions, but feeding it narrative to drive immersion, makes solo gaming so much more fun! I’ve taken the time to populate all my entries in my Rolescape with descriptions generated by ChatGPT according to my feedback, which made the whole world come to life. From locations and npcs, to deities, calendar and flora and fauna of the Aristrax Marches. You can find them all in the link provided.
    Overall I’m having lots of fun with Five Leagues from the Borderlands now that combat and campaign results can be narrated by someone else (thank you AI) with minimal effort.

  • giorgis 2:01 pm on March 4, 2023 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: 5leagues,   

    In The Aristrax Marches – Ep22 

    Previously in the Aristrax Marches, the Ravens of Gadun repeated their attempt to destroy Ugmal once and for all, but they failed blatantly. In the battle, Brobern, the young runaway that had joined the warband, was killed by the undead.

    Turn 35

    No Camp Events were rolled. The Upkeep was at 1 Gold Marks, and Temir reduced his recovery time by 1 Turn. Boots failed to Forage for Herbs, but Bolga was successful in his Hunting Expedition, returning with pelts worth 4 Gold Marks.

    With the next item on the Raven’s agenda being the elimination of the Gnawling threat, we shall travel to Fey Wall, near which, their hideout is located.

    On the way there we meet up with a Sneaky Thief who managed get away with 4 Gold Marks before we realized it.

    On the News Events we learned that Outriders of the local army are patrolling the region, so next turn we don’t have to roll to Travel somewhere.

    Omac, the warband leader, was devastated by Brobern’s death. He had been like a son to him, and the thought of losing him was almost too much to bear. Omac knew that he had to be strong for his remaining comrades, but his heart was heavy with grief.
    Temir, was injured in the battle. He had been struck in the leg, and he was unable to stand. Omac and the others tried to tend to his wounds, but they had little to offer in the way of healing.
    The warband made camp in the Blighted Vale, their spirits low and their bodies battered. Omac spent hours by Brobern’s side, his eyes fixed on the lifeless form of his friend. He knew that they couldn’t stay in the Vale forever, but he didn’t know where to go or what to do next.
    As night fell, Omac called a meeting with the remaining members of the warband. They sat in a circle, their faces grim and their eyes haunted.
    “We have to leave this place,” Omac said. “We can’t stay here any longer.”
    “But where will we go?” asked Myrick.
    “I don’t know,” Omac admitted. “But we have to keep moving. We have to find a way to honor Brobern’s memory, and to avenge his death.”
    The warband agreed, and they packed up their meager belongings. Temir was carried on a makeshift stretcher, his leg wrapped in bandages. They set out into the night, their footsteps heavy with sorrow.
    As they walked, Omac thought about Brobern and all that he had meant to the warband. He knew that they would never forget him, and that they would always carry his memory with them. And he knew that they would continue to fight, no matter what obstacles lay ahead. For they were the Ravens of Gadun, and they would never give up.

    During camp, the warband had divided their tasks. Caldas had been assigned to forage for herbs, while Bolga, was tasked with hunting for food. However, things did not go as planned.
    Caldas had returned to the camp empty-handed, his small basket dangling from his arm. He had searched high and low for herbs, but had come up empty. Bolga, on the other hand, had been successful in his hunt. He returned to the camp with the pelts of four animals slung over his broad shoulders.
    Despite the setback, the warband decided to press on towards the Fey Wall hamlet, which was located near the hideout of the Gnawling horde. They knew that danger lay ahead, but they were determined to complete their mission.
    As they made their way towards the hamlet, they encountered a stranger on the road. He was a wiry man with shifty eyes, and he claimed to be a traveler heading in the same direction as the warband. They welcomed him into their group, and he walked with them for several hours.
    It wasn’t until they stopped for a break that they realized the stranger had stolen four gold marks from their stash. The thief was nowhere to be seen.
    The encounter left the warband on edge, and they were more cautious as they continued their journey towards the Fey Wall hamlet. They knew that they could not let their guard down in the face of danger, and that they needed to be more careful in their dealings with strangers.

    The Ravens of Gadun had been travelling through the Aristrax Marches, and had arrived at Fey Wall hamlet, a small settlement near the ratmen horde’s hideout. The warband had been tasked with eliminating the ratmen, and they knew that it would be a dangerous mission.
    As they entered the hamlet, they were greeted by the sight of Duke Gauwill’s outriders, who had set up camp nearby. The outriders had been sent ahead of the army to scout the area and gather information about potential threats.
    The warband leader, Omac, approached the outriders and asked for information about the area. The outriders informed him that they had scouted the Aristrax Marches thoroughly and had not encountered any major threats. They had not encountered any signs of the ratmen horde, and they believed that the area was relatively safe to travel for a while.
    This news was a relief to the Ravens of Gadun, who had been worried about the dangers that lay ahead. With the outriders’ report, they could proceed with their mission to eliminate the ratmen with greater confidence and security.
    Thanks to the outriders’ scouting, the Ravens of Gadun were able to proceed through the Aristrax Marches with greater ease and security. The outriders’ expertise and vigilance had made the area safer to travel for a while, allowing the warband to focus on their mission.

    Turn 36

    No Town Events were rolled. The Upkeep was at 1 Gold Marks, and Temir reduced his recovery time by 1 Turn. For Campaign Activities we decided to Meet the Locals, and we Established Useful Contacts earning us 1 Adventure Point, and also to Visit the Healer to have Temir ready for fighting in the same turn.

    The inn in Fey Wall where the warband, Ravens of Gadun, will stay is called The Dancing Nymph. It is a cozy and inviting place, with a warm and welcoming atmosphere that immediately puts travellers at ease.
    The exterior of the inn is made of wood and stone, with a thatched roof and a large sign hanging over the entrance. The sign depicts a graceful nymph dancing in a forest glade, and it swings gently in the breeze.
    As the warband enters the inn, they are greeted by the sound of laughter and conversation. The main room is spacious and well-lit, with a large fireplace at one end that crackles with warmth. There are several tables and chairs scattered throughout the room, and a long bar lines one wall.
    The bar is tended by a friendly fey-blood named Tarek, who greets the warband with a smile and offers them a selection of drinks and meals. The menu includes hearty stews, roasted meats, and freshly baked bread, all made with locally sourced ingredients.
    The rooms at The Dancing Nymph are comfortable and well-appointed, with soft beds and warm blankets. Each room has a window that looks out onto the surrounding, providing a peaceful and serene view.
    The warband settles in for the night, enjoying the warmth and comfort of The Dancing Nymph. They chat with the other travellers and swap stories over drinks and food, feeling grateful for the sense of community and belonging that the inn provides.

    After settling into The Dancing Nymph inn in Fey Wall, the Ravens of Gadun began to establish contacts and gather information about the ratmen horde and their hideout. They knew that they needed allies and support if they were to successfully eliminate the ratmen.
    The warband began by talking to the locals in the hamlet, asking about any potential allies or informants. They were pointed towards a group of hunters who often ventured into the surrounding forest, and who might have valuable information about the ratmen.
    The Ravens of Gadun set out to find the hunters, and after a few hours of searching, they came across a small group of them, led by a grizzled veteran named Roth. The warband approached the hunters and explained their mission, asking for any information or support that they could provide.
    Roth listened carefully to their request and nodded, recognizing the danger that the ratmen posed to the region. He agreed to help the warband, providing them with valuable information about the ratmen hideout and the surrounding terrain.
    As they were about to part ways, one of the warband members, Temir, mentioned that he had sustained an injury during their previous battle. Roth recommended that they visit a nearby healer, who might be able to provide some aid.
    The healer, a wise old woman named Tova, lived in a small cottage on the outskirts of the hamlet. She welcomed the warband and examined Temir’s injury, offering him a salve made from local herbs and roots. She also provided them with advice on how to stay safe in the forest and avoid potential dangers.
    With the information from the hunters and the aid of the healer, the Ravens of Gadun were now better prepared to face the ratmen horde. They set out on their mission with renewed confidence, grateful for the allies and contacts that they had established along the way.

    For Adventuring we’ll be fighting the Gnawling Threat, which we found out that is in the Same Map Area, Counting their Pillage and if we fail they will Gather Information.

    The battle will take place in the Edge of Woods and our Objective is to Secure the Area.

    We’re up against 8 Gnawling Warriors and a Captain, and we failed to Seize Initiative.

    The warband, composed of Omac Gadun, Caldas, Bolga, Temir, and Myrick, approached the edge of the woods where the ratmen were counting their plunder. Despite their planning and preparations, they had failed to seize the initiative, and now the ratmen were fully aware of their presence.
    As they prepared for battle, tension mounted as the two sides stared each other down. The warband knew that they had a tough fight ahead of them, and they needed to act quickly if they were to emerge victorious.
    The ratmen, armed with crude weapons and armor, appeared to be confident in their strength and numbers. The warband would need to use all of their skill and courage to overcome this challenge.
    With battle about to commence, the outcome of this encounter was far from certain.


    ROUND 1

    As the tension mounted, Temir drew his bow and took a shot at the enemy captain. However, his aim was off, and the arrow missed its mark. The ratmen responded by firing their crossbows at Omac and Temir, but their aim was just as poor, and the bolts sailed harmlessly past.
    Myrick, seeing an opportunity, drew his bow and took aim at a ratman in range. He let loose his arrows, but unfortunately, they missed their target by a wide margin. The warband was quickly realizing that this was not going to be an easy fight, and they needed to adjust their tactics if they were to emerge victorious.

    ROUND 1
    ROUND 2

    As the two sides closed in around the pond and through the woods, the ratmen fired their crossbows, managing to incapacitate Bolga with a bolt to the leg. Two ratmen closed in on Omac, but he managed to kill one of them with his bastard sword.
    Myrick and Temir shot their last arrows, but they missed the ratmen approaching around the lake. Caldas managed to wound one of the ratmen with his fencing sword, and Omac followed up with a deadly strike, killing the ratman.
    Despite their losses, the gnawling ratmen were undeterred, and one of them furiously dashed closer to the warband. The warband needed to act fast if they were to fend off this ferocious assault.

    ROUND 2
    ROUND 3

    As the ratmen continued to shoot their crossbows, one of them ran out of ammo while another managed to hit Omac, piercing through his plate armor and wounding him.
    Meanwhile, five ratmen and their captain charged towards Myrick, who engaged them in a bloody melee with his Heartseeker enchanted blade. One by one, he killed them all, leaving a trail of ratmen corpses in his wake.
    On the other side of the woods, Caldas engaged in a one-on-one battle with another ratman, which he managed to dispatch with his fencing sword.
    Seeing the bloodbath and their comrades falling one by one, the last ratman dropped his crude crossbow and fled in terror.
    The warband had emerged victorious, but at a heavy cost. Omac was wounded, and Bolga was incapacitated. They would need to tend to their wounds and regroup before they could continue their journey.

    ROUND 3


    We rolled 6 Adventure Points earned for being Victorious against an Enemy Threat which was spent directly on reducing the Gnawling Threat by 1. Also 1 Adventure Point more for Defeating a Captain. We rolled that one Item was Located, for the Contract thus earning another 1 Adventure Point.
    On the injury rolls, Bolga is dead, and I had to spend my last Story Point to reroll this, and he was only Lightly Wounded.
    Boots, Omac and Temir earned 2 XP each, while Myrick earned 3 XP and Bolga, being the only casualty earned only 1 XP.
    Our Loot roll was a Thief’s Tools, and the Unusual Find was a Longbow which was given to Myrick. Since we stopped the Gnawlings from counting their pillage we earned 1 Gold Mark but no more was given for Securing the Area since we found no valuables.
    Finally, no News Events were rolled.

    After the intense battle against the ratmen, the warband was both relieved and ecstatic to have emerged victorious. Despite Bolga’s injury, they all knew that it could have been much worse, and they were grateful that he would soon be back on his feet.
    As they scoured the battlefield for any spoils of war, they came across a few items that caught their eye. First, they found a longbow, which was in surprisingly good condition considering the chaos of the battle. Omac Gadun, the warband leader, took a closer look and determined that it was a finely crafted weapon, likely made by skilled hands. He knew that it could fetch a good price in the right market.
    Next, they found a single gold mark, which was a valuable currency in the region. They were pleased to have come across it, as it would add to their collective wealth and make their future travels a bit easier.
    But the most exciting find was the piece of the tapestry of Imel that Gare had been seeking. They recognized it immediately, as Gare had shown them a sketch of it before they parted ways. It was a beautiful piece of art, depicting a serene forest scene with vivid colors and intricate details.
    The warband knew that Gare would be thrilled to receive it, and they made a mental note to bring it to him when they next traveled to Newhorn. They understood the importance of keeping their word and helping those in need, especially in a world as dangerous and unpredictable as theirs.
    As they gathered their spoils and tended to Bolga’s wound, the warband couldn’t help but feel a sense of camaraderie and satisfaction. They had faced a daunting challenge and emerged victorious, with new treasures to show for it. But more importantly, they had demonstrated their strength, skill, and loyalty to one another, which would serve them well in the battles and adventures that lay ahead.

    Session Summary

    This was a very short battle lasting only 3 rounds, where we emerged victorious. Having a melee combat skill of +3 is almost certain victory against opponents with less than +2. Right now only extremely strong melee enemies or missile enemies pose a threat to my warband. If the Ravens of Gadun are a spear, Temir and Myrick are the spearhead. There is risk ahead, but I’m quite sure that in most battles, victory will be ensured. Nevertheless, attrition is a real danger. Again, I have no Silvertree Leaf, and I’m just out of Luck Points and Story Points, so any casualties during combat could easily mean the death of another warband member. My next battles will all be revolving around eliminating the Gnawling threat.
    Additionally I’ll add another Endgame condition, which is if we reach 90 Turns (the maximum number at my warband roster). I believe we’ll have won or lost by then, but just in case, I’m putting another safeguard. I don’t want to be tired out by this Five Leagues from the Borderlands (note: currently it’s in the GM’s day sale on DTRPG) campaign, so I’m aiming for completion, while in the meantime, I’m slowly getting my itch for Five Parsecs from Home again.
    Now something else to bear in mind about Solo gaming. Writing blog, after blog of narrative can be exhausting, and truly I was near burnout again. But I love playing the games, and having a nice description that goes along with it. That’s when I discovered ChatGPT. Many of you must have already read about it. I must say I was quite amazed at it. Sometimes it doesn’t give what you want, but most of the time, if you give it proper information it will come with good results.
    All narrative in this particular session was output by ChatGPT, with only minor editing afterwards. Some of the prompts and outputs needed to be re-generated to give a proper result, but I kinda love it.
    Don’t get me wrong; you still need to feed it a proper description of what happened, otherwise it will go wild on it’s own, but it takes away some of the heavy lifting of the player. I can imagine it can be used as a great tool for solo roleplaying as well. You can use the ruleset and solo gaming engine to provide the framework, and AI to provide the narrative. I wouldn’t use AI to provide the results without a framework, because that way, whenever you regenerate a prompt it might feel like cheating.
    I’m certainly going to try it more.

    So for example, here’s what the input of my end was:

    ‘Temir took a shot at the enemy captain with his bow and missed. The ratmen armed with crossbows shot at Omac and Temir and missed. Myrick shot his arrows at a Ratman in range but missed.’

    And the output from ChatGPT was:
    ‘As the tension mounted, Temir drew his bow and took a shot at the enemy captain. However, his aim was off, and the arrow missed its mark. The ratmen responded by firing their crossbows at Omac and Temir, but their aim was just as poor, and the bolts sailed harmlessly past.’

    ‘Myrick, seeing an opportunity, drew his bow and took aim at a ratman in range. He let loose his arrows, but unfortunately, they missed their target by a wide margin. The warband was quickly realizing that this was not going to be an easy fight, and they needed to adjust their tactics if they were to emerge victorious.’

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