A busy month

5 LEAGUES FROM THE BORDERLAND : KATANGA CAMPAIGN TURN 6

THE BOOK OF THE SOUTH

Month of the Red Moon

Week of the Waterhorse


We return to the village of Djanzaban. While the locals are pleased to see us, they go about their daily tasks with glum faces. The village headman or to give him his proper title 'mukuru', is on another rant again. His eldest son got drunk and tore up the drinking den and to avoid embarrassment, declares drinking to be illegal.


Truly, such illogical thoughts will make even the roh giddy.


By now, our warband has made a boma within the confines of the village. We settle in to recover from the battle with the monstrous golem.


Val brings me some herbs to make a protective potion. Sonya finds several tracks again. Perhaps it was the presence of the golem that has made everyone, friend and foe alike, avoid this area?


Red comes to me one day after she has been seen talking to the traders of rare and unique items. She hands me a bag. I open it. It is full of... Red laughs, as do Sonya and Val. Truly, our leader is touched in the head. 


Despite their little joke on me, seeing the items inside the bag gives me an idea.


The next day, I hang a sign in front of my tent. Two chicken claws crossed with two black crow feathers. Before too long, a woman slips into my tent.


At the end of the day, I pack the litle bones and trinkets back into my 'juju' bag. I count my takings. 1 gold. A decent reward for all the fortunes I have told. Perhaps some of them may even be true. Only the roh will know.


Since Sonya has found signs of suspicious activity, we venture forth again.


Sonya is so intent on following the tracks she found that our enemies almost fall on us, but Batu, ever on the alert, spots them and silently leads us away and into a more advantageous location... a ruined village. So recently ruined that wisps of smoke are still wafting up from the charred walls.


Thanks to Batu, our foes do not notice us coming and we manage to slip closer to them before we are spotted.


From the motley way they are dressed, and the way they are split into different groups, these men seem to be deserters, banding together as a convenience rather than being comrades from the same unit.


K'yauni attempts to bless Sonya while I try to cast a Charm of Iron on Batu. But the roh are not listening to us. Batu takes a protective potion instead.


Then we charge.


BATTLE TURN 1


Batu, perhaps too excited, fires quickly and misses. 


Red, Sonya and Karl move up. They carefully stay together, to support each other as comrades in arms should. 

The deserters have an archer among them! He lurks behind a building, and shoots at Karl. The roh be praised! He misses!


Two deserters slip inside a ruined building while another group charges at Sonya and Karl. 

Val, carefully standing back, now fires her bow. A deserter goes down! 

I manage to cast a Hexing Symbol on myself. Then I throw a stone but the roh do not hear my pleas. The stone misses! 


The deserters must be desperate. Despite one of their number going down, none run away. 


BATTLE TURN 2


Val fits an arrow to her bow and fires at the enemy archer. But he is behind some ruined walls and her arrow misses!


Sonya attacks a deserter, and in a flurry of blows cuts him down. 


The deserter's companion is busy attacking Karl, who parries the blows and drives him back, stunned. 


Then... oh calamitous portents! The archer fires at Sonya, who is trying to help Karl. She goes down!!!


But I do not hear the roh shriek and wail. Perhaps she is only wounded?

Another deserter bursts forth from the ruins and attacks Conn. They exchange blows and the deserter is stunned before reeling back, wounded. Truly, Conn has grown since he first joined us.


A second deserter jumps out of the ruins, screaming, his sword raised at Red. She parries his blows then cooly cuts him down. 


Batu shoots at the wounded deserter but his arrow glances off the deserter's armour. 


Conn follows up, swinging his sword at the wounded deserter but the deserter manages to parry the blow. 


Seeing Karl facing a foe by himself, I run up and feint at the deserter. It works. While he is distracted, Karl moves in and cuts down the foe. 

Conn and Erland surround the wounded deserter. Red moves in to complete the task. 


Seeing all his companions dead or dying, the archer decides to run away and fight another day. 

AFTERMATH


We check on our fallen comrade. The roh be praised! Sonya is all right. Her thick hair must have cushioned the blow of the arrow. Her head aches but otherwise she is fine. There is not even a scar to mark where the arrow hit.


As the others scavenge the field of battle, I head towards the ruins. Inside, I find the expected. Sad, twisted bodies with gashes and rents in them. The ants have already come. I whisper an invocation to the roh. Perhaps their shades will find peace knowing their deaths have been avenged. I rejoin my comrades.


They have found a balanced war spear and a longbow. But even Conn, with all his Scrounging skills, finds nothing more.


There is not much left to find in this sad place, so we head back to Djanzaban.

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