I went through the encounter process in detail last time, so I’ll skip to the outcome today: Ispitan & Co. have stopped at a farm to get supplies, unaware that local troops are about to attack it, in the belief that one of the farm buildings contains a McGuffin of some sort. The only thing special I know to be there is Ispitan’s herbs, so we’ll start with the idea that a rival of the Sable Mage is trying to stop him getting his material components.
Ispitan & Co. are helping out with some farm chores as payment for last night’s hospitality, when Galen trots back into view from one of his frequent trips to the woods to get medicinal herbs.
“Trouble coming,” he says. “I saw horsemen, heard chatter and weapons. We’d better get ready.”
“Get the farmer and his family into the cellar,” orders Ispitan.
This was a really tense and close-fought battle, and I was very pleased with the layout and photography – finally using a proper camera. This lasted right up to the point where I discovered that none of the pictures had been saved to the SD card. So you’ll have to imagine it I’m afraid.
Anyway… learning from experience, Our Heroes stayed in the farmhouse as the PEFs approached them.
- Turn 1: Rufus gets Line Of Sight on one of the PEFs, and it resolves as one retinue infantry, 3 retinue cavalry and 3 borderers.
- Turn 2: The retinue cavalry dismount and close on foot, driven by the NPC table on p. 48. This brings them within 12”, so a Test of Wills is in order. Ispitan uses his star ability of choosing the number of successes to force both sides to halt in place and do nothing, so that he can cast on his next activation. (I decided that they would leave one of the dismounted cavalry holding the horses so that they didn’t wander off.)
- Turn 3: Ispitan casts Steel Wind, but fails and loses 6 Rep for casting purposes. Oh well.
- Turn 4: The infantry and dismounted cavalry charge home, but in a masterful display of lucky dice rolling, Rufus and Galen render three of them Out Of the Fight.
- Turn 5: All this time, the other PEFs have been milling about moving to the closest cover, but now one comes into view and is resolved: One skirmisher, 7 borderers, and one retinue cavalry – this turns out to be the Big Bad, with Hardiness 4 and Rep 6; I dub him Valdemar and decide he will make a fine recurring nemesis. Valdemar and friends close up, a Test of Wills is in order and again Ispitan forces a “hold in place” result to buy time for his friends. Rufus and Galen put another foe OOF.
- Turn 6: Valdemar’s group charges home and kills Galen outright. Ispitan clobbers one of the borderers with his staff, rendering him Out Of the Fight. Rufus takes down another enemy. At this point I started to wonder if I would have enough OOF markers.
- Turn 7: A retinue infantryman drops Eyjolf, OOF, and Rufus is Obviously Dead following an exchange of blows with several foemen. Only Ispitan is left on his feet, and things are not looking good for the home team.
- Turn 8: The last PEF heaves into view and resolves as one skirmisher and four borderers. Ispitan is hard pressed by Valdemar and several borderers, but his Hardiness saves him until the next activation.
- Turn 9: Ispitan has his back to the farmhouse wall, and again his Hardiness saves him from a flurry of blows by three opponents. However, he is wounded and loses 2d6 from his melee Rep.
- Turn 10: Ispitan is clobbered again, and has his Rep reduced to zero, taking him OOF. It’s all over bar the shouting.
“Shall we kill them, Lord?” asks one of the footmen.
“No,” says Valdemar. “Search them. See if they have the herbs we seek. Bury the dead honorably, for they fought well. Bring the wounded with us, including the enemy.”
“That wizard fought three of us and a horse to a standstill armed only with a stick. He is definitely worth talking to.”
Ispitan has survived another encounter, and so rolls to improve his Rep, Hardiness and Social Standing. He rolls 5, 6, 5 and all three go up one point.
|Retinue Cavalry||Mtd Melee||5||–||Spear||4||12”||Elite||–||SS|