Bushido!

5 LEAGUES FROM THE BORDERLAND : KATANGA CAMPAIGN TURN 7

THE BOOK OF THE SOUTH

Month of the Red Moon

Week of the Waterlizard


The rains are good, and the herbs flower abundantly in the wild. Val brings some back for me to make into energising and medical potions. Sonya does not find anything suspicious in her scouting trips out of the village. Which does not mean that there is nothing there. Perhaps the evil ones have grown cannier in hiding themselves?


In the meantime, I meet up with another person of like mind as myself. He is an inquirer, like me, into things which need to be inquired into. He is from the South, from the land of the many gods, where the gods themselves are like humans but with animal heads and where they practice some ... odd burial rites. Removing a deceased person's heart, liver and spleen and sealing them into jars is no good to her in the afterlife! 


His name is odd, too... Kathulos or something like that. But... we have grown close in understanding and... in other areas, especially after a night spent... well, eating with the rest of the warband is one activity I can name.


When he leaves the next day to continue his travels, he leaves as a friend, one whom we can call on in need.


We settle our various domestic chores, trading and telling fortunes. Red buys a set of traps, which will come in handy when next we head out.


At last, it is time to venture forth again. Everyone is restless and even the men in our warband are surfeited with the shameless hussies of the village.


We leave the village and run into a travelling noble and his entourage! The bearers are laden with goods while the noble himself rides on an elephant. 


Rich as he is, he seems to be one of the better examples of his kind. He even deigns to speak to us from his howdah, and when he learns of our mission to rid this region of threats, gives us a fine fencing sword as a token of his appreciation.


We continue on our way in better spirits. Spirits which are sorely tested when Batu, on one of his tracking expeditions, returns to say he has discovered a ruined temple... ruins that are infested with the Undead!


The roh shriek and wail at these tidings. Woe be to those cursed ones, whose roh cannot be released to move on in the afterlife, but are chained to their rotting, corrupt bodies!


We have a discussion, where we determine we will cleanse this land of the unclean Undead filth!


As we near the ruins, we see the Undead are in two groups. Being Undead, they are not very observant as Val, Batu, Conn and Sonya break off to engage the group on our left. I remain with Red, Erland and Karl on the right.

Val lets fly her arrow... I swear her shaft flew true... but all it accomplishes is to send the Undead shambling towards us!


I cast a Charm of Iron on Batu, and the battle is joined!


BATTLE TURN 1


Batu moves closer so his bow is in range of the Undead. He lets fly an arrow... and the roh be praised! An Undead falls down in a heap. May this be an omen of good fortune to come!


I cast a Hexing Symbol on myself and the roh of the air buzz about me, ready to swat missiles out of the sky or perhaps deflect a weapon strike. Of course, being of the air, they cannot do much. But every little bit helps.

We move forward cautiously as we gauge the Undead shambling slowly but remorselessly towards us.


BATTLE TURN 2


I am in range and my rock flies true... but the Undead it hits just moves forward as if nothing is amiss.

Both Batu and Val do not score with their next shots. Perhaps fighting the unclean Undead have unnerved them? I shall remember to give them some protective amulets when we return to the village.

The Undead move closer.


BATTLE TURN 3


First blood to Red, who chops off a limb of an Undead! But that does not stop the cursed creature. Red can do no more to it, but Karl chops the head off the Undead that attacks him.

Our comrades on the other side of the field of battle fare no better.

BATTLE TURN 4


We engage the Undead in deadly ernest now, but cannot gain the upper hand. Even when our blows land... unless we manage to cut off the creatures' heads or cleave them in two... they do no damage! Red manages to wound another Undead but that is all.

To our left, Conn fights one of the cursed creatures. It must have been a doughty warrior in life and a mighty blow gets past Conn's guard. Surely he will be cut down! But Conn recovers in time and parries the blow! Then he and  Sonya slowly fall back towards Batu and Val. Their arrows have no effect on the creatures so far.


BATTLE TURN 5


The roh be praised, for they have surely guided my hand as I fling another rock at an Undead. The missle flies true and smashes the rotting brains of the creature! It collapses without a sound.


Then Erland and Red cut down another Undead! Only one more faces us now. It does not care that it is alone, facing overwhelming odds. It merely shambles forward.


What is the point of creating these wretched creatures? Who is doing it?


To our left, the battle seems to be going ill for our comrades. Sonya is stunned, and has to fall back, leaving the battle to Conn who steps up to defend his comrade in arms and... yes! He manages to slay the one that has stunned Sonya but another Undead takes its place and Conn falls back, fighting stubbornly with each step. He is even stunned but heroically shakes it off to fight the Undead.

I can see Batu's and Val's arrows fly true! They embed themselves in the rotting Undead bodies... who keep on moving forward!


Will nothing stop them?!


BATTLE TURN 6


At Red's signal, both Karl and I dash to the aid of our comrades while Erland and Red finish off the remaining Undead behind us.

We are still too far away and can only watch helplessly as Batu's and Val's arrows once more fly true... and do nothing to the cursed Undead!


All the while, Sonya and Conn stubbornly fall back, fighting every step of the way as they shield our archer comrades.


BATTLE TURN 7


The roh are surely on our side now! Val manages to Wound an Undead. I can see her arrow sticking out of its eye socket. 


Conn manages to overcome an Undead but it is Sonya who is the true hero of the battle as she cuts down the two undead that attack her. She must have overcome her dread of these dark creatures to let her warrior qualities shine forth!

The Red Hand hold the field once again!


AFTERMATH


Batu has proven to be a steadfast comrade throughout our time together, facing down monsters and undead without a tremor and even leading us away from certain ambushes and his skill allowing us to turn the tables on our would be ambushers. It is past time he is recognised as a hero and not the outcast drifter that he was when he first joined our warband. 


We scour the field of battle but find nothing of worth, except... a piece of parchment. Written in the hand of one long dead. Evidence of an even larger infestation of Undead nearby! We must take counsel as to what we should do with this bit of evidence. 


We return to Djanzaban empty handed.

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