Wednesday 15 May 2024

Five Leagues From the Borderlands (part 4) - Skirmish on the Stairs

OK then… in my last post I managed to get everything set up for my first battle… so here’s how it went (note that I’ll explain a few things about how ‘5 leagues’ works to begin with – but it will be a very basic overview):


So, in this (and other Nordic Weasel games), the round usually starts by rolling a number of six sided dice equal to the number of models in your warband…

...and what you’re hoping for is low numbers.

You then compare these to the ‘Agility’ skill of your characters… and if any of the dice are equal or lower than that score, you can assign that die to a corresponding character – which means that that particular model can then activate in the ‘quick phase’ of the round (i.e. it gets to activate before the enemies).

So, since all of my ‘heroes’ have an agility score of one… and since I only rolled a single one in the above example… that means I can only activate one of my characters before the enemies (though I’m free to choose which). So…

As the company made their way down the stairs into the vast chamber, the quiet echoes of their own footfalls were met by the clamour of many clawed feet rushing towards them out of the darkness.

(Quick Actions Phase)

Lagashi was the first to act – whispering fell words from cracked lips, and holding her staff aloft. Within mere seconds a whole host of bats had flocked to her side… and with words of command she sent them out into the centre of the room to form a screen between her and whatever it was that approached.

(Enemy Actions Phase)

From out of the gloom the outline of several wargs could be seen advancing towards them – howling and gnashing their teeth as they came. Though just how many there were was unclear.

(Slow Actions Phase)

Muzlug and Golb followed along behind the bats – this being a tactic that they had put to use on several previous occasions – while Snagluk moved off to one side and readied his bow.

(No Tracking Phase)


(No Quick Actions)

(Enemy Actions Phase)

The first of the haggard beasts bore down upon the swarm… tearing bats from the air with tooth and claw (first stunning it, then wounding it).

The second warg then joined the fray but could do little more (the exchange ended in a draw).

And finally another of the ravenous creatures came into view – but luckily this seemed to be the last of them (i.e. the unknown enemy roll resulted in just one extra creature).

(Slow Actions Phase)

Moving up to get a better shot - Snagluk loosed an arrow and wounded one of the lead creatures.

Muzlug followed that up with a charge of his own… but was beaten back by the beast (i.e. a draw).

Lagashi then began to make her way back up the entrance steps – thinking that it would give her a better vantage point for weaving more of her dark magic. Looking back, she turned around just in time to see her bat swarm eviscerate one of the fell wolves.

Emboldened by this, Golb dashed in… his sword swinging wildly. However, he soon regretted his decision… as he himself was wounded after a brief back and forth.


(Tracking Phase)

Seeing it’s companion torn to ribbons, the rearmost warg decided that it had seen enough, and fled back the way it came.

(Technically, the last warg should have fled at this point to – due to a ‘not worth the risk’ special rule for this scenario – but because I’m using a reduced number of models to begin with, I simply gave it a second morale roll instead… which it passed).


(No Quick Actions)

(Enemy Actions Phase)

The last warg clawed at Golb – forcing the injured orc to his knees and leaving him somewhat stunned.

With the stairs fully occupied, Snagluk clambered up the rubble beside them, and let loose another arrow. However, the uneven footing caused him to slip as he did so… and the arrow sailed off into the darkness (note, as I mentioned previously, I’m using a slightly modified ‘out of ammo rule’ – so if I roll a one on the die, I then roll it again to see if I run out of ammo).

With Muzlug behind him (ordering him forward) Golb reluctantly advanced… but after a brief back and forth… he managed to finish off the last of the hungry beasts.

With the immediate thread dealt with, Muzlug then rushed up the stairs… eager for this patrol to be over. Meanwhile, Lagashi watched on from afar – urging her bat servants forward to guard the far side of the great stairway.


(no activation rolls needed)

The great uruk cautiously peered through the doorway and examined the floor – looking for signs of recent movement. Finding nothing himself, he ordered Golb and Snagluk to join him.


(no activation rolls needed)

With the aid of his ‘trusty lads,’ Muzlug and company ventured a short way down the passage and conducted a more thorough search. Finding little evidence of dwarven activity, they made ready to leave – but at the last moment something caught Muzlug’s attention from the corner of his eye.

Something about one of the walls didn’t look quite right; when tapping on it, it didn't sound quite right either. Could their be an adjoining room on the other side – the entrance to which had been blocked up? Or was this some kind of secret entrance that warranted further investigation?

Whatever the case may be, Muzlug swore the rest of the group to secrecy – as this could be something they might not want other orcs to know about… at least not yet – as there might be some ‘good looting to be done’ ...loot that they might not want to share with the rest of the camp.

(i.e. the party made a successful roll to complete the mission in the allotted time frame – and as a result discovered a ‘delve’).


With the mission being a success the group gained:

1 adventure point.

Muzlug leveled up and got an extra point of luck.

Golb gained the crafting skill.

The party found a damaged standard weapon & damaged bastard sword amongst the debris in the room.

They also found an ‘essence crystal’ (which allows a Mystic to cast a spell for free without any rolls). For this I’m going to say that while the other members of the group were searching the battlefield, Lagashi conducted a foul ritual (involving the removal of the heart of one of the dead wargs) that allows her to use its spirit/essence as fuel for a future spell.

Returning to camp, Lagashi and company made their report (being careful not to mention their actual discovery), and found an unoccupied corner to rest in. Within the camp all was still rather tense and quiet (i.e. the ‘news travels’ roll didn’t result in anything again), and so they decided to keep their heads down for the moment… and wait to see what tomorrow brings.

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