Five Leagues from the Borderlands : Turn 1

Past weeks have been rather slow and uneventful. Consequently I managed to run a Five Leagues from the Borderlands session on a lazy evening. Having set up my campaign (see former post), I pitched my valiant mercenaries against their first dreadful opponents.

29th day of Janus, Year of the Otter : an unexpected encounter

At our arrival in Amnis, the local authorities welcomed us with more enthusiasm than expected. The bailiff, Ruprecht Hassball, offered our troop food and shelter in the local garrison. Young Thorbyn pointed out, that the garrison, both building and men, looked rather disappointing. Later that evening, the bailiff came to me with a proposal of employment.
Lacking proper manpower, he asked us to patrol the hinterland to the north of Amnis. Rumors of missing travelers upset the local population and he wants the affair investigated.

five Leagues from the borderlands
Trying to hind behind natural cover, the Crimson Guard sneaks upon their foe.

We set out in the early hours and journeyed northwards along the main road until our scout, spotted the whisp of a small fire in the forest. After a brief hike through the forest, we reached a small camp. The ashes of the fire were still smoking gently. Judging by the bloodstains and the gore covering one side of the tent, its occupant must have met an unpleasant fate.

Just as we wanted to investigate further, Thorn noticed several wolves of immense proportions close to the tent. Having caught them unawares, we seized the opportunity and went for a surprise attack.

Unfortunately, the terrain was not in our favor: either the dense forest or the soggy ground barred our way. This was the last time I listened to Thorn’s call for a swift attack.

While we moved towards the wolves, I noticed a peculiar dolmen on top of the hill. I made the mental note to investigate it later.
As was to be expected, the wolves sniffed our presence and reacted uncharacteristically aggressive. We tried to slow them with bow and arrow, but we were unlucky. Consequently, the beasts closed in and tore into our ranks. We highly overestimated our gear and skills and several comrades suffered injuries and wounds. 

However, the Divine Dice were cast in our favor. My brethren in arms did not break and held their ground. Several wolves fell under some really(!) lucky blows and cuts by Thorn and Ogen.
The death of their fellow beasts must have terrified the pack and they swiftly escaped for the woods.

five Leagues from the borderlands
the fight ended with a series of very chaotic close combats. Ogen, the dwarf fighter managed to fight off multiple wolves and even survived only mildly battered. The wolves rolled extremely unlucky, despite numerical advantage.

We later investigated the camp. Little hinted who the poor sodd might have been, except for a discarded piece of armor and a warspear. A warrior, a mercenary, a bandit?

We returned to Amnis and suggested to the bailiff to employ some hunters who might track the pack and eliminate the threat.

outcome, reward & final thoughts

The extremely helpful campaign tracker by EccentrickOwl I found on Boardgamegeek. I recommend you check it out too.

I managed to keep my warband barely alive. Were it not for extremely lucky dice rolls, I might have been butchered. I learned that I have to proceed with greater care and apply what I usually preach to others: patience and a sound plan.

I looted some equipment, that I gave to my under-geared men and women. When I rolled on progression tables, I was lucky again. Fate decided, that Young Thorbin, a mere follower should from now on be a hero.

I admit, the combat system in Five Leagues from the Borderlands feels a bit odd to me, since it differs from most other games I play. The fact that a combat is constituted of three rounds is novel to me and took me a while to get my head around. But I am confident, that I’ll get a hang of the in-game mechanics after some more games.

I also discovered a new location on the map, see below, which I might investigate in the next game.

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