Friday, 23 August 2019

Trouble on the Tundra

As the days lengthened and the snows were just beginning to recede, the hunters of the tribe set out secure the people's survival. A mere 12 bulk worth of meat would see the tribe through - at least for another moon. The hunters had discovered a small heard of mammoths grazing in the tundra. They had prepared a pit (centre right), and then split into two smaller parties. Lee took control of Herc, Bow and Snogg, along with Herc's new hound - Grrr (top left). I controlled Ferg, Tark and Frygga (off screen to lower left).

Fergg the fire-king, Frygga with her trusty spear, and Tark the bowman. Rolling for traits, Fergg ended up with big feet. He'd be fine in an icy landscape, but would have trouble moving through thickets.

Herc with his club, Grrr, Bow the bowman and Snogg the spearman. Rolling for traits, Herc turned out to be 'enthusiastic' so he would have to roll three dice every time he activated.

Unbeknownst to the tribe, a small hunting party of outfolk had also decided to exploit the mammoth herd to see their people through. There were also two large boar wandering around the hunting ground - we decided to treat them as apex predators with only two bulk.

In the opening turns, Herc's party started forward towards the centre of the hunting grounds. Despite multiple failed activation rolls, the mammoths grazed on unperturbed, while one of the boars emerged from the thicket, snuffling along curiously.

Bow ambled up to join Herc, loosing an arrow at one of the mammoths. The arrow lacked any penetrating power, but made enough of a thump to cause the mammoth to charge forward. Seeing the herd start to move, Frygga crept forward to be in a position to start hurling spears.

Then, as Herc let out a catastrophically combustible sneeze, Frygga's target span around and charged at her, giving her a prod with a tusk to leave her wounded and stunned.

The smell of fresh blood drew out all of the predators in the area. Both boars and all three outfolk cautiously advanced towards bloody Frygga.

Ambling up with all the confidence of the chap who invented fire, Fergg lay down a scrub fire which soon started spreading with the winds - towards the boars and the mammoths. The smoke and flames did the trick and spooked the mammoth that was goring away at Frygga. As one of the tribes only women, there was a real emphasis on trying to keep her alive!

Meanwhile, Herc, Bow and Snogg had been angling down the other side of the hunting ground, alternating between driving one of the mammoths away from its herd, and fleeing in terror whenever it trumpeted at them.

Trying to force the mammoth into the pre-dug pit, Bow shot off another poor shot and received a mammoth charge for his trouble. Luckily for him, this mammoth was less well practiced at goring hunters and Bow escaped without even a scratch.

Herc ran down to lend a hand and the panicked mammoth ran off to stop ... just. in. front. of. the. pit! One more weak bow shot from Bow, however, prompted the beast over the edge. The tribe had secured four bulk worth of food. Only eight more to secure a tribal win!

One of the outfolk - if our hunters could have understood their barbaric tongue they would have known his name was Flingi - came shuffling up towards the mammoth pit, only to be confronted by a snarling Grrr.

Flingi yowled something incomprehensible and Grrr backed away just as the outfolk leader - Mumma Mamu - scuttled up, her nose twitching behind her savage skull-mask.

Bow skulked towards the strange looking hominids and loosed another cautionary arrow. This time, his shot struck true, wounding the outfolk leader. 

Flingi shambled over to Grrr looking very aggressive and struck the poor hound. Grrr yelped as blood flowed freely across the tundra.   

Seeing his hound in peril, Herc limbered up (and then lumbered up) attempting - unsuccessfully - to out-hominid the outfolk hunter. Despite having Grrr snapping at his heels, Flingi was both unharmed, and unimpressed by the whole ordeal.

Grrr then switched targets, hoping to drag down Mumma Mamu and Flingi loped off to have a look at Bow. Over on the far side of the hunting ground, Tark and Frygga had been slowly making there way down towards the action. Tark lined up a shot against the third outfolk hunter - called Lugi in his strange guttural tongue - but missed the mark.

Not happy to see Flingi wandering around unharmed all over his hunting ground, Herc pursued him. He took one mighty swing of his club ...

... and the outfolk hunter crumpled into a pile of rather edible looking meat.

While Snogg ambled up to provide some close support, Bow took another potshot at Mumma Mamu, bringing her down. Another one for the pot! Well, another one for the spit anyway.

Grrr then came up to attack Lugi and was spitted in turn. Herc howled in distress to see his hound killed before him, while the other hunters just shrugged pragmatically and licked their lips.

Tark took advantage of Lugi's tussle with the hound to line up another shot. He pulled back and released, sending a well-placed arrow straight into (and through) the outfolk hunter's chest. The stranger dropped on the spot.

And, with that, the tribe had secured a win. Frygga was bloodied, but still standing, while the other hunters were completely unscathed. The mammoth was worth four bulk, the three outfolk hunters were worth two bulk each and, expedient though it is, Grrr counted as another two bulk towards the tally. Why let good meat go to waste, eh? 

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