Blooding the Youth.
A hunting expedition.
Young Boma, youngest son of the chief of the Lesser Isisi, has reached that stage of life where, in order to progress into full manhood, join a Warrior Society and maintain his status as part of the ruling elite, he must kill a lion, hand to claw, using only his "boy's shield" and the traditional "Lion Sword" of his clan.
His uncle, M'bomi and four experienced warriors will accompany him; for the dangers of the Plain are many. However, Boma must carry out the "kill" himself, skin the beast, and return to the city bearing it in his arms.
Characters/revealed beasts "Activated" by token draw.
Any animals will have distance-factored morale tests for "fight or flight", so just because the guys spot a likely lion doesn't mean it will stand and fight.
Other animals are available on the Events table; the plains are full of dangers - including rival tribes.
I will "play" uncle M'boni - giving commands to the others by sound and gesture.
All animal behaviours and individual decisions/rections, other than M'bonis, will be ad hoc dice decisions based on IMP/known characteristics.
All the hunters are proven braves and competent hunters; the pride of the Isisi specially chosen for this mission. Their only fault is likely to be over-enthusiasm - though everyone's nerve can give way under the wrong circumstances..
Combat, if it occurs, is simple and dice driven.]
The group arrives in a likely area and begin spotting. Initially they are unsuccessful, but lucky in that no other, untoward incidents occur.
However, after a while they spot two young male lions, dozing; perhaps these have a nearby kill and are resting between snacks? Who knows, but our group can't pass up an opportunity.
Now, because the sudden appearance of six men will certainly freak the lions out, and lead to them running off, some sneaking is called for. However, the more time taken, the more likely there will be some Random Event to potentially put a spanner in the works.
The guys fan out, leaving Boma and M'bomi together.
The plan is that once the older hunters are spread out, Boma will approach the lions alone with his sword. The spear-bearing, fanned-out hunters will then try to distract one lion, while "shutting in" the other so it can be attacked by Boma. This means moving slowly/sneaking till the right moment. Also, both they and M'bomi will be on "overwatch" in case both lions attack Boma. THIS slows things considerably - again, risking an unforeseen Event.
Boma is to await M'boni's signal before moving in. In theory...
The bgame's affot, and the guys spread out; softly softly....
The hunters sneak to positions successfully, but suddenly the lions awake. They are confused and worried.
Boma, all keyed up and keen, does the one thing I don't want; rushing in while both lions are together. The lions react: fight or flight ?
Unfortunately, Boma rushing in like this prompts both animals to go into "fight" mode.
They rush him. Things have, as they say, escalated quickly....
I have no choice: the last thing M'boni wants to do is return to Boma's father that with the news he has allowed the chief's son to be fatally mauled. I and the hunters will now have to salvage something from the mess.
The guys on "overwatch" move in close, trying to spook, distract or kill one of the lions...
Meanwhile Boma will be allowed to try to deal with the other cat so that he can "win his spurs".
In my moving M'bomi in to help keep Boma safe, one of the lions is distracted; good...
Equally good - and luckily, by deft use of his small shield - Boma keeps himself from harm in that first rush. While doing so he tries to slash at one of the lions, but causes no harm.
Both young lions are now seriously upset by all these guys round them. The one Boma was fighting, now seeing itself outnumbered, panics, running away from Boma...
...who now rushes the other beast.
This second lion, already distracted by M'bomi and all the other activity, sees Boma too late and is not quick enough. While it manages one swipe at him Boma bashes this aside with his shield, while bringing the large slashing sword down hard onto the beast's back...
With it's spine sliced at the back of the neck the lion is disabled. Boma quickly stabs - and the lion is twitching in its final throes... Boma has killed his lion....
But things aren't over.
One of the other hunters, cousin Matabi, has stabbed at the second lion, wounding it. The lion makes off. In all the excitement Matabi goes haring after it, as it runs towards the nearby ridge.
Back at the slaying site, under M'bomi's watchful eye, Boma quickly starts skinning the fallen lion.
But next move prompts an Event test, and....
Oh.. A Pride of lionesses.. Location: at the top of the ridge.. Right in Matabi's path........ Not good.
Matabi halts, realising that he is in a lot of danger from the lionesses right now; they all having now woken and risen.....
Although one lioness, presumably the matriarch, rushes at Matabi, she contents herself with a couple of paw swipes, and a LOT of noise...
Meanwhile his fellow hunters, seeing this, form a line of shields and start banging them and making a noise; hopefully confusing or discouraging the lionesses from making any sudden moves in Matabi's, and their, direction.
This succeeds - and Matabi is able to slowly move back to the line of his fellows. The lionesses do not pursue.
Boma meanwhile has skinned his prize.
The group reassembles and, keeping a weather eye on the pride, who seem to have decided to go back to sleep, make their way homeward.
Boma has passed the test and is now a fit to be initiated into one of the Warrior Societies of the Lesser Isisi. There will be celebrations tonight...
Another quick, easy to set up (using the previous table) game which was exciting and fun. As always, any queries are welcome.