Tuesday 5 March 2024

Hawk the Slayer #2: Into The Whisper Woods

Bursting with enthusiasm after the first battle of my Five Leagues from the Borderlands solo campaign, I immediately leapt into the next campaign turn, in which Hawk and friends get sent on a mission into the mystical Fey Woods of the north.

Before we get to that, there's the brief tale of how they got there...

Campaign Turn 2

With Lakesmouth still short handed, the party continue to help the town guard out. Whilst patroling taverns and dealing with drunks and pickpockets, they take the opportunity to talk to likely recruits for the guard, encouraging them to take the captain's shilling as per the deal (contract, negotiate a deal) he had offered them, with some success.

A Town Crier announces that the Town Council are offering good money for adventurers willing to risk danger. Whilst Gort and Crow try and fail to goad locals into an archery contest (Gamble), Hawk goes to speak to the Council who are keen to retrieve vital intelligence on events beyond north reach from a messenger who has gone missing in branch of the Whisper Woods known to be haunted by the Fey (contract, retrieve item).

Hawk accepts the task and, prioritising the job with more urgent need (and, incidentally, better pay), gathers his companions to travel north.

The journey passes without incident, and Hawk, Gort, Crow, The Woman, Breda and Dana prepare to enter the ill-omened Whisper Woods.

The mission actually required the group to travel to an unexplored location to retrieve the item. Although the travel was uneventful, the location turned out to be Fey Woods, which would involve a site battle against members of the Ice-Heart Court, even though they weren't a threat in my campaign.

9 Goblins and one Captain would be patroling the woods whilst I had two missions to complete: to grab the item from the centre of the board and to explore at least three objectives (which could turn out to be good or bad things). To add to the complications, all movement was reduced.

Whatever happened, this was definitely going to be a longer affair than the last one.

So...that went well...I feel I need a disclaimer to say that I wasn't cheating. 

The party, especially Hawk and Crow, cut through the goblins with ease; the item was retrieved alarmingly quickly; I kept finding loot at every location and at no point was anybody in real danger.

It didn't feel that straightforward in the game, as random rolls can go against you, but I feel I've got a better handle on how to tip combat in my favour.

The loot I gained was as follows:
  • Harness of Vengeance (enchanted armour)
  • Scout's Cloak,
  • Set of Alarm Traps, 
  • 2 sets of Partial Armour, 
  • Shield, 
  • Coil of Rope, 
  • Ferrets’ Drink (magic potion),
  • Fey Steel Fencing Sword
In addition to this, the battle also revealed another unexplored location in the Whisper Woods along with a Monster Lair, both of which I decided to leave for a later date.

Although the scenario didn't grant me any Adventure Points, all four heroes gained enough experience to gain an advancement:
  • Hawk improved his Luck to replace the point lost last turn,
  • Gort saw his Combat ability improve, 
  • Crow enhanced his scouting with the Wilderness skill,
  • The Woman developed better Casting.
In addition to this both Brida and Dana had moments of inspiration and are now heroes rather than followers. Dana even gained the Scholar skill into the bargain.

I know things won't always go this well, but it was nice to have a 'big damn heroes' moment and be able to tool up the party with plenty of equipment before bigger dangers befall them.

I'm sure it won't last.


  1. Great second adventure for the group, and nice they all managed to level up from it as well.

    1. It felt a bit awkward as each roll came up good. I'd watch some videos previously of parties being totally trashed by the dangers they uncover.

  2. Excellent stuff, Kieron. I always enjoy reading BatReps of rule sets I'm not that familiar with, as they usually give a nice look at how they play, and this was no exception. I'll be keeping any eye out for "Five Leagues from the Borderlands" in future.

    As a comic creator I also love your comic-book style reports. Wonderfully done, with a lot of effort and care. Great posting.

    1. Glad you like it. Five Leagues and Five Parsecs ate the best solo miniature games I've tried. Walking Dead is fun, but limited, Rangers of Shadow Deep was very linear, and solo versions of regular games never quite work.

      These ones just work.